‘Black Friday’ sales are becoming a global phenomenon with Australian retailers embracing it this year (both online and bricks & mortar retailers). ‘Black Friday’ is actually an US tradition since at least the early 1960s, being the day after Thanksgiving when retailers throw open their doors and offer large bargains to entice shoppers and kick off the Christmas and holiday retail season. The Oxford English Dictionary says that one reason it is called ‘Black Friday’ is because it is the first day of the year that the retailers go ‘into the black’ (i.e. make a profit) after having been ‘in the red’ (i.e. making a loss) for the year up until that day. Another reason given is that ‘Black Friday’ started out as a joking reference to how bad the traffic would be on that day. Whatever the reason, it is an important day in the US calendar as an indicator for retail sales in the Christmas and holiday retail season, which is a very important period for retailers. It is also a very important retail period for the sale of wool clothing in the US. The indicators for retail sales of clothing are positive this year. Retail sales of clothing in the US have risen strongly over the past 12 months on the back of a strong US economy and high consumer confidence. While this growth doesn’t show retail sales of wool clothing specifically, it does set the scene for a strong Christmas-New Year retail period which will benefit the sale of wool clothing.
Further details, including a chart showing the trends in retail sales of clothing and of interior textiles in the US are contained in this week’s edition of the Weekly Newsletter, available to NCWSBA members.