UMN Experts: A changing retail landscape leading up to Black Friday, from Amazon to mobile shopping

Photo of Ahmed Maamoun and Hyunjoo Im.

Black Friday marks the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season. As companies begin to entice shoppers with deals and free shipping, University of Minnesota experts Ahmed Maamoun and Hyunjoo Im explain how the retail landscape is constantly being redefined by both companies and technology.

Ahmed Maamoun, Ph.D.
“On Black Friday, retailers typically offer deals on products to lure customers to shop. They feature a few ‘doorbuster deals’ in limited quantities that are deeply discounted or sold below cost to help create this treasure-hunt atmosphere. This classic and stereotypical Black Friday is changing though.

“Amazon has redefined all aspects of the retail landscape and Black Friday is no exception. We are seeing that more consumers have decided to trade the hustle and bustle of going to brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday for the ease of online shopping, while finding similar, if not comparable, deals.

“Amazon has mainstreamed online holiday shopping and big box retailers (e.g., Walmart, Target, Kohl’s) have no choice but to follow. Free and fast shipping on value deals along with liberal return policies can no longer be overlooked by brick-and-mortar formats.

“In the toy space, all of the big players are doubling down on toy deals to fill the void created by Toys R Us exiting the scene.”

Ahmed Maamoun, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of marketing at the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Maamoun’s teaches courses tied to retailing, international marketing and the principles of marketing. His research interests include marketing competitiveness and marketing strategy in small and medium sized enterprises.

Contact information:
Ahmed Maamoun
218-726-7098 (o)

Hyunjoo Im, Ph.D.
"In recent years, consumers from all over the world have taken advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals by shopping from U.S. retailers. Last year, the retail industry saw a surge of sales from mobile transactions.

“If retailers want to take advantage of this global phenomenon, they need to focus on making their websites optimized for mobile devices. What has worked very well for retailers is ensuring that they are easy to access on mobile platforms and pushing timely alerts to consumers."

Hyunjoo Im is an associate professor of retail merchandising in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Her research focuses include consumer digital technology adoption and usage and retail interface design effects on consumers.

Contact information:
Hyunjoo Im
612-625-8234 (o)


About University of Minnesota experts
University of Minnesota experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. See selected experts on UMN’s Experts Guide or inquire about additional experts via email at

Media note
The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is equipped with a VideoLink ReadyCam® studio for live or taped HD television interviews with our experts. To arrange an interview, contact University Public Relations  at (612) 624-5551 or


Media Contacts

After hours line
University Public Relations
(612) 293-0831
Public Relations
University Public Relations main line
University Public Relations
(612) 624-5551
Public Relations
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities