The Evolution of Seasonal Shopping Events: Global Perspectives
In this article, we define the phenomenon of seasonal shopping events (SSEs) and review the research on consumer behavior during such events. SSEs refer to specialized shopping events that frequently occur during and around national or religious holidays. They often reflect a celebration of cultural values and aim to appeal to a wide variety of experiential, hedonic, and other consumer motives. Retailers attract consumers by offering discounts, sales, and promotions related to gift-giving. SSEs often evolve into social and traditional occasions for friends and families. We describe four global examples of SSEs: Black Friday (U.S.), Fukubukuro (“lucky bag,” Japan), Singles’ Day (China), and Boxing Day (Canada, U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa). We examine these SSEs fromboth the consumer and retailer perspectives, review their histories, and indicate how they have grown beyond their cultures of origin. We then identify common patterns and elements associated with SSEs. We next provide a general framework for how successful SSEs have emerged and discuss the cultural and cross-cultural implications of the SSE phenomenon. Finally, we illustrate some of the ways that changes in the consumer and retail environments might affect the future of SSEs.