Whatever numbers the retail association posts this weekend for Black Friday (typically overoptimistic assessments) are likely to be skewed this year even more.

The New York Times expects a Less Frenzied Black Friday as Millennials opt to stay away.

If you’re in the retail business in the United States, you probably really care about these two things: millennials and Black Friday.

But more and more, these two big drivers of the industry don’t mix inside stores — a dynamic that is reshaping one the country’s biggest shopping days.

Young people of all kinds, a coveted group for retailers because of their free-spending ways, are increasingly turning to their computers and phones to do their holiday shopping, spreading out more widely the days they open their wallets. Crowds on Friday, the unofficial kickoff of the holiday shopping season, will tilt older than a few years ago, and also, it appears, more cautious with their money.

As a result, the mix of retailers with high expectations for the day is changing quickly, skewing more toward dollar stores and discount retailers and toward essential products like food and cookware. And it is also making the day itself less and less important for the industry over all.

A decade ago, the day after Thanksgiving accounted for 6 percent of all shopping for the holiday season, according to Craig Johnson, the president of Customer Growth Partners, a research firm. This year, he expects shoppers to spend $27 billion on Black Friday, but that will account for only 4.3 percent of the spending this season.

Over all, people are expected to spend $632 billion this holiday season, up from $607 billion last year, the company estimates. But for the first time, more than half that growth will come from online shopping, Mr. Johnson said.

At the same time, there is a distinct division in who is shopping online. More than half of baby boomers surveyed said they would do none of their holiday shopping online, according to a study by CivicScience, a market research company. Nearly 40 percent of those age 18 to 34 — the group known as millennials — will do most or all of their shopping on the web, and another 35 percent said they would shop both online and in-store.

That shift to online shopping has put more pressure on stores to offer deals good enough to bring people out into the cold. Less than a quarter of Americans plan to shop in stores on Black Friday, down from 28 percent two years ago, according to a survey by Bankrate.com, a website that tracks savings products.

Does Black Friday Make Sense?

The notion of Black Friday no longer makes much sense.

Now, there are “Black Friday doorbusters happening all week long

More and more stores will be open Thanksgiving. Wal-Mart and Target will open stores a 6:00 PM. Next year it will likely be noon.

Amazon has Black Friday deals on a variety of toys, electronics, and home goods starting on Wednesday.

JC Penny is promoting $500 coupons. Sorry, it’s one per store. One in 10 will get $100, and everyone else $10. Can JC Penny really afford losing $100 on 10% of its customers. We will find out. Maybe there is another catch.

Black Friday Month

A few years ago people were waiting in line hours to be the first in the door for blockbuster deals. Perhaps some still do. But why bother? BGR reports “Black Friday is no longer a day, it’s now a month-long event on Amazon that kicks off today and runs straight through Cyber Monday and all the way to December 22.”

The “today” in that story was Friday, November 18, a week ahead of the presumed black Friday.

On November 21, Aarons put out a press release announcing “7 Days of Black Friday“.

Perpetual Black Friday? Why Not?

Why not start in September? Why not Perpetual Black Friday?

I just did a website search. The name PerpetualBlackFriday.Com was not taken. I snagged it for $15 on GoDaddy. Why not?

Mike “Mish” Shedlock