I'd like to chat with you for a bit about Black Friday sales. Yes, that's right, Black Friday sales. As I'm sure you are probably aware, Thanksgiving is one week away, which means, Black Friday is also one week away; and my question is should we even call it Black Friday anymore? Shouldn't we just call it Black Thursday?
For many years now, my dad and I have braved the manic filled streets and stores of Huntsville to take advantage of the Black Friday specials. I really don't even know when this little tradition of ours started but for some reason I think it was either when I was in college, but more likely after I had moved away to New York. My guess is my dad probably wanted some time with his oldest child while he could get it. At any rate, the tradition was started and ever since we headed out on that cold Friday morning all those years ago, we have never missed an opportunity to elbow other shoppers and fight for the last electric blanket.
For the past few years, stores have been opening earlier and earlier which has been both puzzling and at times frustrating; because maybe I want a $5 gift card for showing up and your front door and waiting in the cold but maybe I also want to get more than one hour of sleep so I don't slit the throat of the shopper next to me. Years ago, the earliest stores were opened was 6:00 a.m. and then some genius (I say that sarcastically) decided that 5:00 a.m. would be better. Then, the next thing you know, stores are opening at 4:00 a.m. and then 3:00 a.m. and lo and behold, 2:00 a.m. Really, 2:00 a.m.?
Then, of course, you've got Wal-Mart who only closes their stores one day a year (Christmas Day) because heaven forbid they miss out on one hour's worth of profits. Wal-Mart, I believe it was last year, or maybe the year before that, decided to have Black Friday specials starting at 11:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving or maybe it was midnight. I can't remember, but either way I found it to be ridiculous. I blame Wal-Mart for this new trend in "Black Friday" start times because this year, not only is Wal-Mart having a "Black Friday" sale starting 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night (8 p.m., people!), but Target is opening at midnight and so are the two malls in Huntsville. That's right folks, the one place I could count on for a 5:00 a.m. start time has decided to open at midnight!
I can't really say I'm surprised by this. Let's face it, Americans are greedy and want their deals faster and quicker and better than the year before and every store in town is trying to get the advantage over the store next door. Not to mention the fact that most people probably don't like to spend time with their families and are more than likely looking for any excuse to gobble down the turkey and trot on out the door. What better excuse than - I've got to nap before I head out for Black Thursday night?
I have no idea what my dad and I will do this year. We may just head out at our normal time of 5:00 a.m. or he may decide he wants to brave the midnight crowds; either way, I'm sure I'll be recounting the tale right here on ye olde blog. I've got to say though, all these midnight and 10:00 p.m. and now 8:00 p.m. openings sure make me miss the good old days where all the stores seemed to open within an hour or so of each other and we ran from one store to the next to get the best door prizes.
What about you? Will you be Black Friday or Black Thursday shopping this year?