Shoppers, it seems, are over the frenzied, harried, wait-all-night-in-the-cold madness of Black Friday. Consumers are increasingly shunning the shopping holiday, opting instead to spread out purchases over a course of weeks or months. For the first time, more Americans are preparing to shop online this holiday season than in department stores, according to data from the National Retail Federation.


"Frankly, Black Friday has become meaningless," said Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School. "Retailers are desperate -- they're offering discounts weeks in advance, so what more is there to do? There's no urgency anymore."

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