With another Thanksgiving coming to an end, the faux holiday known as Black Friday has arrived. Black Friday is the notorious day that starts the month long holiday shopping season. Retail stores all over the country open their doors in the wee hours of the morning to let hoards of people file in for one of the biggest savings days of the year.
Usually, stores would open their doors any time from midnight until 4:00 am and stay open the entire day. However, over the past few years, stores have started opening their doors earlier and earlier to get a jump on their competition. Last year, some stores opened up as early as 10:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day but no one had too much of a problem with it because Thanksgiving festivities are usually over by then. This year, on the other hand, people are outraged by how early some stores are opening.
In an effort to get an early jump on their competition and make more money, stores such as Kmart, Sears, and Wal-Mart opened to the public at 8:00 pm on Thanksgiving. This has not only angered employees of these stores who were looking forward to being with their families, but the general public as well. There have been protests at Wal-Mart’s all over the country for better treatment of the workers, which steamed from having to work on Thanksgiving night. Also, Kmart has announced that they will be open from 6:00 am until 4:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day and then open up again at 8:00 that night until they close at 11:00 the next night. This only gives workers four hours to be with their families on what is one of the most family oriented holidays of the year.
The other new thing with Black Friday sales over the past few years is weekend events. Some stores, such as GAP, are having their sales last through the whole weekend. GAP’s “Bright Friday Event” is a take on Black Friday that lasts from Friday morning until Sunday night. A lot of car companies do this as well. Some Toyota dealerships are having Black Friday weekend events that start on Thanksgiving Day and go all the way through Monday.
These companies know that big sales attract more people. The longer the sales last, the more traffic they will get in their stores. Black Friday is the single biggest sale day of the year. It has definitely grown over the past few years and will probably continue to grow in the years to come. Let’s just hope it doesn’t grow too much or the day we all know as Thanksgiving could very well turn into “Black Thursday.”
– Zachary Abramo, Meaghan Beam, Jessica Butner, Jackson Lane
Black Friday shopping has turned into a ridiculous event. I have friends who work stores that carry sales and they had to work overtime the entire weekend. They worked during the night and the next day. I don’t usually participate because I strongly dislike long lines and places with way too many people in close quarters, but this year I went to target on Friday around 1 p.m. The store was not crowded or not so more than usual and I was out in a very reasonable time with everything I went in for. I don’t understand the need to have something right at 1 a.m., but I think it has a lot to do with society not having much patience. I really hope Thanksgiving doesn’t get overlooked to Black Friday shopping in the future.
I think having any store open on thanksgiving is not fair at all to the employees of those companies. In a few Wal-Mart stores in my hometown of Charlotte were going to walk out on their jobs because of the amount of hours they were going to have to work on Thanksgiving and also Black Friday. I understand it is great for business but I believe it should stay at Black Friday and not keep jumping into Thanksgiving.
The things people will do for a sale is really mind-blowing to me. I work at a clothing boutique back home and this year Black Friday was insane. We open at 10 AM and people already start lining up at 9:20 AM. My boss only does Black Friday and but honestly I could not imagine if she continued the sale through the weekend or started it on Thursday. That one day of sales was enough for all of us and people are relentless. They will complain and expect the same customer satisfaction as the days when it is only a few people in the store. I get the deals are great and it creates revenue and attraction to the store but I think many people who work in retail would agree that it is insane and one day is enough.
I personally think that Black Friday should last the entire holiday shopping season. I missed out on the sales this year and I wished the sales would have lasted longer. If Black Friday actually started on Friday and lasted a few weeks, I feel consumers and workers would be pleased. Obviously having a family celebration is of the utmost importance on Thanksgiving Day. This event should not be jeopardized just to create sales. I fully understand why workers and families could be irritated. Thanksgiving should be about enjoying others company not about making profit. I am in no way saying that Black Friday is bad, because you could get presents for the holidays at drastically discounted prices. I personally would have took advantage of the immense savings but I was not able to this year. If the stores extended this event, I think they would generate more profit and attract many more customers. Thanksgiving can be about what we are thankful for on a personal level, and Black Friday could be a holiday about giving thanks to low prices and saving money. Everybody should be able to experience Black Friday sales, so the stores need to extend this wonderful holiday.
I understand that these companies probably reason that most people enjoy their ‘thanksgiving feast’ sometime in the afternoon, which would allow for a 7pm or 8pm sale to be acceptable. However, having had to work on Black Friday, not even Thanksgiving Thursday, I know how much of an inconvenience and hassle this is. Rather than being able to enjoy a day with your family, you have to be concerned with getting back to, or staying in town in order to go to work. By no means do I think Black Friday needs to be eliminated, but no one should have to work on Thanksgiving. Unlike religious holidays where a certain religion may not partake which would warrant stores beign open, most everyone celebrates thanksgiving in some manner. Those people working in fields which guarntee them the day off would not accept having to work on Thanksgiving, and neither should the people working for these corporations.
I could never imagine waiting in line for hours in the middle of the night just to get a good sale price, but I have talked to various people who feel differently about this ‘holiday’.For some it is a part of their holiday tradition and a way for them to spend an entertaining night with their friends and family. While I understand why it would make employees working for these stores upset, when you work in retail you should realize that this is what you’re getting yourself into. On the application or during the interview for jobs at most of these places it is usually mentioned that you may be expected to work holidays. If they have a problem with it they probably should have not taken the job.
When I was working retail I dreaded the holiday season and it’s usually my favorite time of the year. This was due to all of the rude customers who come in expecting better sales (which I have no control over) and the holiday hours. I completely understand that extended hours helps boost sales, but opening stores on Thursday is ridiculous. It is understood that when you work retail, you will have to work Black Friday and the day before and after Christmas. Black Friday, in itself, is enough for any retail employee to pull out his/her hair or throw a stuffed animal at a customer (I didn’t actually do this, but contemplated it). But opening ON Thanksgiving day is a little much and before this year, was unheard of. Time with family is limited enough as it is and during the holidays, that’s what matters. Instead, these corporations are sending a message that they don’t respect or cherish this time of the year- they just want the extra money.
The fact that “Black Friday” has almost turned into “Black Thursday”, and for some stores extends all the way through the weekend, has taken away from the original reason this holiday was created. “Black Friday” was created to be a one day sales event to jump start the holiday shopping season, but it has turned into a several day thing that is supposed to make things more convient and easy for shoppers. In my opinion, extending and starting the “Black Friday” sales early does quite the opposite for customers and employees, who now have to schedule their Thanksgiving Day around the sales. Stores try to give off the impression that they are doing this to make shopping easier for customers, but in reality they are just trying to generate more customers to make even more of a profit.
I find it very sad that K-Mart is open the morning of Thanksgiving, and then a few short hours later again at night, in my opinion that’s just not right. It is also terrible for the employees that have to leave their family celebrations early to prepare for the stores mass chaos that is about to take place that Thursday evening. However if you work in the retail and/or service industry, it is expected. Long holiday hours are always a must, and sometimes holidays or some part of the holiday must be sacrificed. Although stores may be closed on the holidays I think of the year I had to work on Christmas Eve, which in my family is far more important than Christmas day. Certain jobs it must be expected. Another job that does not get to enjoy Thanksgiving is one that many Americans would consider a tradition for every Thanksgiving holiday, the N.F.L. All of the players, coaches, their families and any news/broadcasting job associated with televising the game that particular day also must postpone their celebration and day of thankfulness. It is just all within a job. I suppose you could say I am being a bit cynical about Black “Thursday” but I am just trying to play devil’s advocate mostly. I will admit I enjoy participating in the crazy hours of shopping once a year, but I truly do hope that it does not get any earlier than it already has. If that is the case I can say without a doubt I would give up that tradition of my day of thankfulness.
I agree with many of the previous comments that opening early Thursday night is unfair to the employees and the families. I feel Thanksgiving is the last day for people who work in retail to relax until the new year. However, our culture is so driven by making money that retailers are willing to interrupt the traditions of their employees for the “convenience” of their customers. If these businesses were truly concerned with making these deals convenient for their customers, they would makes the deals last longer, like Gap or some of the other retailers. Having deals for a few hours in the middle of the night does not seem convenient to me. For many consumers, Black Friday is a holiday tradition in itself, but I do not think anyone would be upset if it went back to starting on Friday.