But what does North America’s favourite shopping day mean for Austrian retailing and since when has this American tradition actually existed in Austria?

Black Friday originally came from the USA and is the first Friday after the American Thanksgiving holiday. It all began in November 1961 when businesses in Philadelphia jointly decided to get sales going locally with a sales campaign. As a result, hundreds of people stormed into the city centre and helped the businesses reach their desired profit targets. Since the crowds of people only looked like a ‘black mass’ to the police, the name of the day quickly caught on.
Another offshoot of Black Friday that has taken place online on the following Monday since 2005 is so-called Cyber Monday, which marks the start of Christmas shopping online.

Black Friday revs up Austria

Here, the 25 – 28 November sale days have only started to become familiar in recent years. Consumer hearts no longer pound at the sight of the word “sale” or store windows promoting winter and summer close-out sales. Black Friday, on the other hand, is still new and promising and can persuade customers. According to the “Handelsverband Consumer Check”,
more than a quarter of all Austrians took advantage of the sale days. And turnovers for this have increased annually since the first Black Friday took place in Austria. According to the online payment company Klarna, online sales on Black Friday were 64 per cent higher compared to a normal Friday.

Let the tills ring

Because of their relatively new character, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are currently enjoying a lot of popularity in Austria. The event character of these sale days give retailing a new spring to its step and charge shopping with emotion.

Why is that?
According to neuroscientist Michael Deppe from the University of Münster in Germany, our nucleus accumbens, or brain seducer, is to blame. This node excites our reward system when we think there is something going cheap, and as emotions rise, our financial thinking subsides.

Black Friday is especially significant for bricks and mortar retailing from this perspective. On average, an Austrian is prepared to spend between €150-200 for clothing and electronic articles on this day. Body care products, cosmetic products and household goods are also popular with almost 30% of all Austrians. Cyber Monday is when online retailing in particular profits. More than half of all enthusiastic shoppers rummaged on the internet for the best offers, whereby Amazon is a big Austrian favourite for online shoppers.

BEWARE of cyber pirates!

Keep your eyes open for fake shops. Online retailers determined that there were more fake suppliers online this year. Cyber criminals found especially on international online platforms have fake online shops telling shoppers to pay directly to the retailer. The products are, of course, never delivered and customers never seen their money again either.
This kind of fraud will also be common during pre-Christmas shopping as well. Care is advised: check the current normal prices in local shops as well as online shops before opening your wallet.

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