Black Friday or Black Thursday?


            I was reading Nicolle Kaufman's blog about Black Friday and how the deals aren't really as big as society thinks, so what's all the fuss about? Personally, Black Friday has always been a tradition and I'm sure that year after year I will continue to go the mall in search of great deals even though I know most of them are merely illusions. Something that I noticed this year, which was significantly different from last year, was the time change. Black Friday has always started on the Friday after Thanksgiving Thursday, but this year a lot of deals started on Thursday night as early as six pm.

            In the past, Black Friday shopping was a busy day, but as the Christmas holiday grows, kids are becoming more demanding of their Christmas list. In 2011  "Gallup Surveys show that today's holiday gifts tab is six times that of the 1961's." The Christmas season used to be one of tradition. Being with family and celebrating the birth of Christ was more the purpose and Santa's presents were just an added bonus. Now, the latest and greatest clothes, electronics, and toys are a necessity of every kid's Christmas morning. In 1961, the average price for Christmas gifts was $119.82. However, as of 2012, it's about $764.

             In addition to the craze of Christmas, money is tight. Not just for the lower class, but for the middle and even some of the upper class too. Stephen Gandel explains that people don't want to spend their money for the fear that they won't be able to earn it back again. Although the employment rate is increasing, citizens simply fear of losing their jobs again, and thus loosing that money again. The chart below shows how in the last to years employment is increasing. However, it also shows how high unemployment was and why people fear it. 

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A combination of these things has made getting great deals and sales a priority, thus making Black Friday the biggest shopping day all year. Because it is the largest sale-searching day of the year, it has also become one of the most dangerous shopping days. In just 2008, a Wal-Mart worker "was trampled to death in New York and two men died after shooting each other at a Toys R Us in Palm Desert, California." There is even a website called which lists all of the deaths and injuries that come from the Black Friday obsession. 

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              With seven people dead and ninety people injured, something had to be done to save society from killing each other over a 20% savings.

              Nicolle's blog reveals a lot about truth behind false sales on Black Friday. Nicolle explains that the Coach Store "bumped up the normal prices of a bag and then offered 50% off of that price although it was never that price to begin with. For example, a purse was originally $298 but the store changed the price to $368 and then offered a 50% discount so this proves stores trick consumers if you do not know what the value of the purse was to begin with." Could it be that this reveal was done on purpose? This sly deal reveal was never publicized before the way it has been recently. Some people may be tricked by the sales and in that case, the clever price change is simply a great marketing technique and way to bring customers into their stores. However, for really smart shoppers, it may be encouragement not to shop on Black Friday because there aren't a lot of real deals.

               Another way that society could be trying to tone down the rage of Black Friday is by offering the sales earlier. Target tells USA Today that by opening earlier and making advanced preparations, the "stores seemed to ease the anxiety that comes with the biggest shopping day of the year." This Baltimore Target also made an announcement at 7:59 to its customers reminding them to "keep calm." This early opening and safety reminder have seem to been making a difference in the Black Friday shopping. It turns out that a quarter of shoppers (about 33 million people) headed to the stores on Thanksgiving Day rather than on the actual Black Friday. So what do you think? Is it all worth it?


Black Friday can get out of control in a lot of places, and I think that you're right: offering sales earler can limit some of the damage. Still, according to this article in Forbes, Black Friday was a dud for lots of retailers:

Black Friday has legitimately turned into a real life Hunger Games. I am appalled that people do not have a problem injuring others just so they can get the newest hot item. This time of year should be dedicated to spending time with family and friends rather than competing against each other in hopes you come out alive. Society as a whole has become so materialistic it is absolutely sickening. The number of deaths and injuries taken place on Black Friday are alarming and if the numbers continue to increase, I wouldn't be surprised if Black Friday were to be eliminated all together. I personally think Cyber Monday is a safer, less stressful day to do your Christmas shopping. Plus, you don't even have to leave your bed to participate.

If you haven't noticed my slightly cynical tone in my blog posts and comments, I put it there intentionally. Our society is downgrading itself on so many levels, so much so that it's getting in the way of things I truly love. Tyler is correct. It is a real life hunger games, but here, the only one's left standing are the companies that are making massive profits, and laughing at the death counts. I let myself down sometimes, when I want something, because I know I don't need it. Americans wonder why we are looked at negatively in some parts of the world, and our much wiser "leaders" like to say its because of our freedom. But when a country has a day dedicated to eating as much as possible then the next day, see how much crap you can buy, it's probably the latter.

It is shocking to see how people get so out of control over being able to buy a few products at a cheaper price. It gets out of hand and it is very unnecessary. A perfect example of this was when a woman used pepper spray on other shoppers in order to get an xbox 360 at a cheap price. Here is a Link to the news report.

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