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Why Black Friday persists

A shopper carries her purchases as she walks down Fifth Avenue on 'Black Friday' on November 25, 2011, in New York City.

Cardiff Garcia of FT Alphaville and Heidi Moore of The Guardian explore the tradition of Black Friday shopping, and why it persists, despite the encroachment of online shopping holidays like Cyber Monday.

"It's actually fascinating, because you really would think the technology and the way that people interact with it would have all of this obsolete," Garcia says. "But there are really powerful sociological and even psychological forces driving people to the stores on this day. I think there's a couple of reasons: One is just that traditions are hard to eliminate; people like their traditions. Another is, I think especially a lot of us in the media tend to overestimate the extent to which people are either comfortable or happy finding deals online. For some people, this is just the way they've always done things, so the stores naturally cater to that."

Europe remains in the headlines, with more talk about countries possibly leaving the European Union. But Moore is skeptical.

"They will eventually get it fixed, but if one country leaves the euro -- they will all leave the euro. That's all you need for a breakup. So there's really a great will to keep them all together," she says.

For more analysis on Europe and the fiscal cliff here in the U.S., listen to the full audio.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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