Cyber Monday bargains lead Israelis to adopt Thanksgiving shopping traditions

Israelis are adopting American holiday shopping habits, flocking to the Internet to cash in on the Thanksgiving deals.

November 25, 2013 03:25
2 minute read.
BUG is running a nine-day Black Friday sale.

Black Friday sales in Israel 370. (photo credit: NIV ELIS)

When the first Hanukka candle burns bright this Thursday, Jews around the world will commemorate the Maccabees’ struggle against assimilation into the dominant cultural and economic power of the time.

In modern-day Israel, however, the influence of the current economic hegemon is inescapable. Increasingly, Israelis are adopting American holiday shopping habits, flocking to the Internet to cash in on the Thanksgiving deals that have defined American retail for decades.

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In the US, the Friday after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, because the massive commercial activity that kicks off the Christmas shopping season pushes many retailers into the black – profitable – after being in the red all year.

However, since online shopping has become popular, websites such as have offered shoppers a chance to skip the crowds and shop from home on “Cyber Monday.”

But online retail knows no bounds, so Israeli deal-seekers have started paying attention to Cyber Monday. Taking note, Israeli chains have begun to compete, offering their own special deals around Thanksgiving.

“Cyber Monday started in America, but Israeli consumers see the opportunity and want to participate in shopping holidays, so they were looking for great deals online,” said Elad Goldenberg, the Israel manager for ebay, which offers special shipping rates and discounts.

“The rates of purchasing are doubling year after year.”

Services such as TNT Worldshop and Buy2USA, which provide international shipping for online products from around the world, provide special discounts around Thanksgiving to help Israelis take advantage of the deals abroad.

Israeli business newspapers have taken to compiling top 10 lists outlining the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

Though Israel is not alone in its Cyber Monday madness, it is one of the strongest adopters. According to Business News Daily, in 2012 Israelis spent seven times their average daily purchases over Black Friday weekend, tied with Ireland, and behind Colombia, where shopping ballooned to 11 times normal spending. Mexico, South Korea, Russia and China all showed inflated spending as well. All in all, international sales from US retailers tripled from the previous year.

But in Israel the sales are not limited to shopping from abroad.

BUG, Israel’s largest computers and IT product retailer, is running a nine-day Black Friday sale. Because electronics are the most popular category on Cyber Monday, it is no coincidence the electronics stores would try to compete.

Tellingly, its sale ends on Cyber Monday, three days before the end of Hanukka.

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