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”?