Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Is Black Friday on a Thursday Going Too Far?

The Edge
My friends, we are on a precipice. I find we are teetering on a metaphorical cliff when it comes to Black Friday and the question of if it is a great idea or terrible one to have shopping start on Thanksgiving Day. Some people have stepped back from the edge of endorsing such an idea, with a number of stores waiting until the next morning or at least Midnight to officially open to shoppers.

Then we have the companies about to fall into the pit of consumer-madness with Target and Walmart opening at 6PM on Thursday, and Best Buy going a tad further with the doors unlocking at 5PM. Meanwhile, Big Lots has just dived into the chasm whilst screaming ,"Fuck it!" and is opening at 7AM on Thanksgiving Day because what employee wouldn't want to spend a holiday about family helping direct strangers to whatever aisle they're searching for?
7AM on Thanksgiving? Now that's just going way too far.
Yes, this is a dangerous position we find ourselves in, and I'm afraid that against my better judgement I too am taking the leap into mass-consumerism and focusing on getting a great deal on commodities, but on the other hand, I like my cheap stuff God-dammit!

How Did We Get Here?
How exactly did we get here? I mean, the answer is obvious that corporate greed and a desire to squeeze as much money out of consumers as possible put us here as the unofficial holiday that is Black Friday can only rake in so much cash within 24 hours (so folk figured expanding it a bit couldn't hurt). What I mean is how did we as shoppers get to the point mentally where we were okay with stores opening in the evening on Thanksgiving day and while there are some who still protest it, plenty of folk--including even yours truly--will go to Target so that they can examine all the hot deals?

 I can't say when exactly the shift occurred, but I like that I still have enough humanity to not be a total shop-bot and realize that having your store open all day Thursday is more awful than it is productive. Stores requiring employees to work Thursday evening still makes me a bit sad, but the urge to go out and just experience the rush of Black Friday (even on a Thursday) and all its zaniness is a strong siren's song...and fighting it's request for us to jump off the cliff of consumerism is just so, so difficult.
I think their protest has failed if it actually does make me want to buy more stuff.
I suppose the only solution we as the people who go to shopping malls and stores have is to look deep inside, ask ourselves what time we think is okay to begin Black Friday shopping, and proceed from there. If you feel waiting until it is officially Friday at midnight is the proper time, go for it. Should you be someone who likes to go pick-over what's left on Saturday, that's fine too. If you even want to go shopping a bit in the evening Thursday that is your call as long as you feel comfortable as a human being doing so. I have sympathy for those who work retail and have to deal with this madness, so keep them in mind too.

Overall, my main message is that having Black Friday on a Thursday is going too far if you believe it is, and isn't going too far if you feel it's fine. It is a personal decision. So go ahead and jump off the consumer-cliff or back far away from it, it's completely your option. Regardless of what you do I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and a safe Black Friday/Thursday/whatever day they choose to shop.

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