Black Thanksgiving

I’ve never been swept up in the madness of black Friday shopping. I’ve never waited in a line at 5am for a crazy deal. Yes, I’ve done some light Christmas shopping on Black Friday, almost always in the afternoon when the mobs have gone home to nap.

Last year, stores were starting their sales at midnight and I rolled my eyes at how early they were opening and didn’t participate.

This year, it’s worse. And by worse, I mean it’s terrible.

Many chains are starting Black Friday sales at 8pm. On Thanksgiving.

I’m not thankful. I feel bad for the people who have to leave their families on a national holiday of giving thanks to prepare for and then deal with greedy, inconsiderate shoppers. The stores are opening at this time because they know that consumers will jump when they tell them to. There will probably be people completely changing their long-standing Thanksgiving traditions to hit the sales. My question is: Is it worth it?

I say no.

I don’t think that consumers realize how much power they have. If they don’t line up for an 8pm opening this year, the stores won’t be opening at 8pm next year. If they do line up for an 8pm opening this year, next year more stores will open at 8 and in following years it will creep closer and closer to our day of giving thanks.

At 8p.m. on Thanksgiving, I will be spending time with loved ones and I won’t be shopping.

Before you schedule a short Thanksgiving and plot a strategic approach to get one or two coveted items, think about whether that gift could be obtained from a small business on Small Business Saturday or ordered online. Think about the people stocking the shelves on Thanksgiving or running the checkouts. They would probably prefer to be with their families. Can you blame them?

That’s my two cents. What are your thoughts on the new starting times for Black “Friday”?

2 thoughts on “Black Thanksgiving

  1. I agree with you. These Thanksgiving-eve store openings are despicable. But, in general, there are more bargain-hunters than there is stock on the shelves, so one person not going will, in all honesty, not make much of a difference.

    Remember a few years ago when a Walmart employee in Valley Stream, NY was trampled to death by greedy shoppers on Black Friday? I had been to that same Walmart a few months earlier, on a regular non-sale day, and the inconsiderate nature of the people IN THE PARKING LOT got me so enraged that I had to leave. I’d never felt that emotion before, and it scared me. I’m honestly not surprised it happened.

    The overall response from retailers has been to move the opening even EARLIER, to a time when fewer shoppers will be out and to thin the crowds (they say). Perhaps it works, but I don’t like it.

    I’m not sure what the solution is. I don’t think the government can legislate when stores may or may not open. I can only hope that, someday, common decency will prevail and that Friday-after-Thanksgiving store schedules will return to normal.

  2. This year I noticed that JCPenney opened LATER than they have in the past. And last year with so many stores opening earlier than they had in the past it made our favorite (and what is usually my only) Black Friday stop at Joanns way busier. I also noticed stores having groups of sales set at different times. Desperate? A bit. I’m one for a good deal but easily tire of the madness and lines.

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