Years ago I’d brave the darkness, cold, and cut-throat shoppers and head out to the mall for Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving has been a significant shopping day for decades, despite Black Friday having such a negative origin. Sure, many people believe Black Friday is more about retail accounting and is the weekend when retailers finally get in the black but that’s just the pretty definition. Sadly, though, the origins of Black Friday have been played out year after year as more and more people go in search of the season’s best deals. Black Friday at some stores are more like gridiron madness than casual shopping.
About 5 years ago I stopped going out for Black Friday and instead did a Boobies and Breakfast with my best friend. It’s not a creepy as it sounds, really. Then again, willing going out at 8am for a mammogram the day after Thanksgiving isn’t all that normal, is it? Anyway, why waste a day when Black Friday has such a buzz about it and the woman running the Mobile Onsite Mammography trailer are quick and efficient.
But, not it seems like my Black Friday Boobie Bonanza isn’t all that cool any more. Black Friday is becoming just another shopping day as retailers move up their sales. Used to be that Thursday was spent surrounded by all the ads from the over-sized newspaper deciding who’s going where and what the plan of attack would be. It’s all about military-level precision when you’re trying to score a $99 tablet or eReader or the $60 Keurig. But who needs that newspaper nonsense, or even waiting until the triptophan-induced coma wears off before you can start saving money on things you likely don’t really need in the first place.
Black Friday creep is what I call it. Some retailers are even holding ‘Grey Friday’ sales today, the week before the traditional Black Friday. Grey Friday? Do we really need this? The sales before the sale is what it’s billed as. And then we have all the major retailer who will open their doors on Thanksgiving Day to kick off Black Friday a little early. WooHoo! Not!
I realize that there are many people who don’t observe Thanksgiving. There are employees who really need the hours and would be willing to work. And, there are many, many people in other professions who work on Thanksgiving and just deal with it. The medial profession keeps going since hospitals aren’t shut down, many in the IT industry work around the clock, movie theaters are open, gas stations, convenience stores and pharmacies, too, have employees clocking in instead of sitting down with their family for their gratitude grub.
Does that mean, though, that major retailers should be open? Do we really need to get our $10 turtleneck sweaters and bonus bucks on every wad of cash we spend that much earlier? Truly, I don’t get the point. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that needs to be purchased 8 or 10 or 24 hours earlier that’s going to make my life more awesome.
We already live in an uber-connected 24/7 news-cycle kind of world. The thought of disconnecting would send some into cardiac arrest. I get that people love a good deal (hence this website!). I understand that we’ve put so much pressure on retailers to give us better and more Black Friday deals. And we’re not even talking about Cyber Monday, which has also started the creep, too, and is more like Cyber Thursday this year.
I can’t help but think, though, that we really can wait until the day after Thanksgiving to go shopping. I honestly believe that we gain nothing by pushing up the Black Friday shopping frenzy. We’ve already extended it by creating Cyber Monday. If it’s just about ‘the deal’ then why have one day where the best and greatest deals descend from corporate heaven like manna that will sustain us until Christmas (or Hanukkah).
I love a good deal. I’m just not willing to give in to yet another gimmick from retailers. We’re all busy people and we deserve one day to stay home and just ‘be’. Black Friday Creep, is it really worth it?