11 Deals That Changed Black Friday as We Know It

11 Deals That Changed Black Friday as We Know It Photo (cc) by RustyClark (hottnfunkyradio.com)

This post comes from Louis Ramirez at partner site DealNews.

Black Friday is a fairly predictable day. In fact, for the past few years we’ve been successfully predicting price drops down to the actual dollar. But every now and then we come across a landmark deal that wows even our most jaded editors. A deal so unexpected that it has a lasting effect on the entire deal industry.

These rock star deals range from a super cheap 42-inch HDTV to the first-ever deal on an Apple iPhone. As we quickly approach Thanksgiving, we’d like to pay homage to these game-changing deals that have forever impacted Black Friday.

The deal: First Cyber Monday promotion

When: 2005.

What: Unlike Black Friday, Cyber Monday is a term whose origin is easy to date. It was first used by the National Retail Federation in 2005 to describe the Monday after Thanksgiving, when workers would return to the office after their Thanksgiving vacation and continue shopping online. Looking to extend the success of Black Friday, the retail industry embraced the term.

How it changed things: Cyber Monday sales have quickly grown year-over-year from $610 million in 2006 to more than $1 billion in 2013.

The deal: First retailer to turn Black Friday into a season

When: 2007.

What: Thanks to Walmart, Black Friday has evolved from being a one-day event to a month-long extravaganza. In 2007, Walmart ran a “secret sale” with deals that posted three weeks before Black Friday.

How it changed things: That was the year that a major retailer made a push for Black Friday season. Naturally, Walmart’s biggest competitors like Best Buy and Target countered, and today we have Black Friday deals that leak as early as October.

The deal: First doorbuster offered online

When: 2008.

What: Love them or hate them, online shoppers owe a great deal to Best Buy and Walmart. They were the first retailers to offer their entire selection of Black Friday doorbuster deals online.

How it changed things: This tactic changed how we shop because suddenly there was no need to wake up at dawn and stand in line at your local retailer. Thanks to that fateful day six years ago, we can now wake up on Thanksgiving morning and do our shopping from the comfort of our homes.

The deal: First luxury brand to participate in Black Friday sales

When: 2008.

What: Cheap items at cheap prices is every retailer’s motto on Black Friday. That’s why luxury retailers like Nordstrom, Coach and Barney’s have traditionally opted out of participating in Black Friday madness. However, that stance changed amid the economic downturn of 2008 when Saks and Tiffany held their first Black Friday deals.

How it changed things: In the years that followed, other luxury retailers like Barney’s and Neiman Marcus joined the Black Friday fray, albeit via their outlet shops.

The deal: First Black Friday deal leaked on a social network

When: 2009.

What: There was a time when shoppers had to browse through Sunday circulars to find out what items would go on sale come Black Friday, but 2009 changed that. It was the year that major retailers like Staples, Lowe’s and Toys R Us turned to Facebook to tease consumers with leaked ads.

How it changed things: Today, social media plays an important role in the way Black Friday ads are leaked, with sneak peeks surfacing everywhere from Facebook to Pinterest. It’s become an additional outlet for retailers to further hook consumers and hype their holiday sales.

The deal: First retailer to offer exclusive membership perks on Black Friday

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