Thanksgiving is a holiday that's uniquely American in its origin, and celebration. And shopping on Black Friday is as much a tradition for many American families as turkey is the day before.
From Russia to Mexico to China, they may not celebrate Thanksgiving, but more and more global consumers are coming to know what the day after means: 50 percent off cashmere sweaters.
(Read more: Black Friday: Not always about deals)
"Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the two highest days of sales that we see from all the way around the world," said Borderfree CEO Michael DeSimone.
Borderfree is a company that works with many American retailers, including J.Crew, Aeropostale, Neiman Marcus and others, to convert the retailers' websites to country-appropriate language and currency translations. Once a sale is made, Borderfree steps in to help collect taxes and tariffs and facilitates shipping to get the merchandise to the consumer wherever they may live.
"In the Middle East much of the population doesn't even celebrate Christmas, but they are still shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so I think it's an interesting way that we have sort of exported our American retail culture," DeSimone said.
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Macy's may be the American retailer most closely associated with the holiday season for many consumers domestically, and abroad. It's hard to think of another that has the equivalent of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the classic movie "Miracle on 34th Street" that uses the retailer's flagship store almost as a character itself.
The retailer, which also owns Bloomingdales, said, macys.com and bloomingdales.com ship to more than 100 countries, and a spokesperson for the company acknowledged Black Friday and Cyber Monday are "very busy days everywhere on the Web."