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Journal cover: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Online from: 1973

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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An exploratory investigation of Black Friday consumption rituals


Document Information:
Title:An exploratory investigation of Black Friday consumption rituals
Author(s):Jane Boyd Thomas, (Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA), Cara Peters, (Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA)
Citation:Jane Boyd Thomas, Cara Peters, (2011) "An exploratory investigation of Black Friday consumption rituals", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 39 Iss: 7, pp.522 - 537
Keywords:Black Friday, Collective consumption rituals, Holiday, Shopping, United States of America
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09590551111144905 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – The purpose of the present study is to explore the collective consumption rituals associated with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and one of the largest shopping days in the USA.

Design/methodology/approach – The research design for this study followed the approach of psychological phenomenological interviewing. Over a two-year period, the authors, along with trained research assistants, conducted interviews with experienced female Black Friday shoppers.

Findings – Qualitative data from 38 interviews indicated that Black Friday shopping activities constitute a collective consumption ritual that is practiced and shared by multiple generations of female family members and close friends. Four themes emerged from the data: familial bonding, strategic planning, the great race, and mission accomplished. The themes coalesced around a military metaphor.

Practical implications – The findings of this study indicate that Black Friday shoppers plan for the ritual by examining advertisements and strategically mapping out their plans for the day. Recommendations for retailers are presented.

Originality/value – This exploratory investigation of Black Friday as a consumption ritual offers new insight into the planning and shopping associated with this well-known American pseudo-holiday. Findings also extend theory and research on collective consumption rituals.



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