Black Friday: a Video-Ethnography of an Experiential Shopping Event

Robert Harrison, Western Michigan University, USA
Timothy Reilly, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA
James Gentry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA
The day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, has become a consumption event with more than 130 million people braving the elements, snarled parking lots, hours of waiting, and early morning crowds to shop on a day that has come to signal the beginning of the American Christmas shopping season. This video-ethnography provides an understanding of this consumer culture by examining the most unusual shopping day in U.S. culture. Based on our interpretation, we identify three categories of Black Friday shoppers, each with different roles, rules, and shopping strategies. Our investigation of the motivations of Black Friday shoppers offering insights into understanding shopping as a cultural spectacle and consumer competition, in addition to understanding extended family and organizational rituals.
[ to cite ]:
Robert Harrison, Timothy Reilly, and James Gentry (2010) ,"Black Friday: a Video-Ethnography of an Experiential Shopping Event", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 733-733 .