The day American shoppers lose their minds for moderately awesome, limited supply discounting is upon us! Black Friday is here, and some of the largest retailers across the country are following the annoyingly disturbing trend of opening their doors even earlier this year than the last.
What was once a tradition that actually started on early Friday morning (the Friday directly after Thanksgiving Day) has been slowly but surely creeping into Turkey Day itself, confusing and morphing the two now completely American traditions into one blob of consumer culture haze. Soon buying your turkey will become a bloodsport of discount shopping, right alongside camping in the cold and rain for two weeks straight, trying to get that Nintendo Wii for $50 bucks off when the doors bust open for the big yearly 'bonanza' sale.
Maybe that's an exaggeration. And don't get me wrong, I have a certain amount of sincere appreciation for the tradition of Black Friday, at least in theory. Retailers dropping prices on a legitimate amount of highly sought after consumer goods, allowing those on a more modest budget to beef up their Christmas givings is a good thing. And a win-win, as far as it goes.
But, the fact that the window of time is so small and limited for consumers to get those really awesome "door buster" gems creates a shopping frenzy that turns a good thing into a crazed thing. Shopping as a sport is not cool. People trampling over department store janitors to be the first ones to bust through the gate is a travesty. Pushing, shoving, punching, brawling, tripping, screaming, crying, bleeding... all these have happened in almost every door buster sale across the country every single Black Friday event for the last several years. And now, departments stores want to begin even earlier!
Here are some
of the stores that will be open for business as you plan to sit down for your Thanksgiving meal with your family on the 27th of November:
Walmart - 6pm
Best Buy -5pm
Kohl's - 6pm
Sears - 6pm
Macy's - 6pm
Target - 6pm
K-Mart - 6pm
Toys-R-Us - 5pm
Old Navy - 4pm
Employees of Walmart, Target and many others have voiced their distress, annoyance and legitimate concern with having to work on Thanksgiving day. They want to spend the day and their time with their families and friends. They want to treat the day as a holiday, as it was intended.
Fortunately, there are several retailers that realize Thanksgiving and Black Friday are indeed still separate things, and are treating them as such. For example, here's a list of 20 Stores That Refuse to Open on Thanksgiving
The point of all this is to highlight the 'holiday creep' of Black Friday, and that it's edging its way more and more every year into Thanksgiving. I mean, we are getting to a point now to where Black Friday will soon be known as a season unto itself, one that very well might start BEFORE Thanksgiving in the near future. Could you imagine?
So, what can be done? Well, it's pretty simple. If you agree with me that Black Friday should remain a shopping weekend that doesn't start until after Thanksgiving day, simply do not shop on Thursday. Wait until Friday. Retailers are just trying to capitalize on what they think we will respond to. Let's show them we collectively do not want this. If we don't show, they won't continue to open earlier and earlier. Let's draw the line. And, oh yeah, remember to be safe out there this shopping season, if you do plan to battle the crowds for good deals.