Up until a year or two, Black Friday shopping was a tradition for my family. Discounts, deals, and doorbusters helped us decide which stores we wanted to go to. Usually we’d opt for Target, Best Buy, or other big stores in the mall. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that a good portion of the fun for us came from how purely ridiculous Black Friday was.
What was Black Friday? It was an excuse to go holiday shopping in the middle of the night. Long lines wrapped around stores all around the country until doors opened at midnight. Black Friday was a full night of insane shopping the DAY after Americans came together to express gratefulness for all that we have. Ironic much? Haha. And let us not forget the fighting and fierce determination in stores to grab that one product we set out to buy before anyone else.
But what is Black Friday now? It’s not what it used to be- that’s for sure.
I now see Black Friday (or Black Thursday…?) as an unfortunate business strategy that encourages people to leave a special family holiday to go buy things we want. It urges us to consume MORE during the ONE dedicated day we have to appreciate and express gratitude. I can tell you I feel no urge whatsoever to go out at 5PM on Thanksgiving Day to go shopping for deals that I feel really shouldn’t be offered until midnight at the earliest.
I can promise you, I would much rather be HERE at dinner time on Thanksgiving Day…
… than waiting in some long line at a large retail store.
My mom spends weeks preparing for this special family holiday. Perhaps this affected me the most last year when I witness us being forced to have our Thanksgiving dinner several hours earlier than usual because after hosting* the holiday at our house, my mom had to clean up everything and go to work! I was incredibly disturbed and frustrated by this.
Online deals are fine. If stores want to have online promotions to reduce the rush and mayhem in-stores, so be it. That won’t do any harm other than possibly killing Cyber Monday. But what good does opening stores at 5PM on Thanksgiving really do? If you don’t want to deal with that type of in-store craziness, maybe you shouldn’t be opening your store in the middle of the night to begin with…?
What has the result of this been? I am not sure how other families have adjusted but all I know is that several retailers have lost my family’s business. We took great care not to purchase from stores that opened early last year. This year, we simply didn’t even bother going out for Black Friday. The fun of late night Black Friday shopping is mostly gone and the deals we saw weren’t that great.
I can only hope stores will someday rethink their decisions.