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Thread: Black Friday

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Feb 2004
    on my 15 minute break

    Black Friday

    I've read that while Black Friday has become an enormous deal as retailers register huge volumes of sales on that day, the practice itself may not be good overall for the industry, as many retailers place more and more eggs into that one basket. The ensuing feast or famine of the day results in increased stock volatility as earning projections for this critical quarter can fall prey consumer attitudes/whims existing at that particular day or even bad weather.

    My mother - if you can imagine - used to enjoy Black Friday! She would get up at 5 a.m. (this was before all the midnight sales or god forbid opening on Thanksgiving itself) and plan out the sales she would hit. She'd always come back home grumbling, irritated and frustrated, but for whatever reason she claimed she enjoyed the 'thrill of the hunt'. I don't understand how a human being could enjoy being surrounded shoulder to shoulder with pushing and shoving self-centered frenzied jerks and then facing the dangerous, icy, crowded parking lots and snarled traffic for the privilege of spending money (albeit less money in many instances) but I guess whatever floats your boat.

    I can certainly understand going to great lengths to save money if one has very little of it and grimly enduring the trials of Black Friday if one has no choice is quite understandable.....but can someone explain to me what could be 'enjoyable' about Black Friday? Seriously. Mom never could convey it, and I'm hoping someone here can.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Mar 2007
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Before we bought our house we had an apartment in a complex that abutted one of the biggest malls in Michigan. It's a very upscale shopping center with Neiman Marcus, Saks, Prada, Burberry, etc. and even on quiet days it's great for people watching. My wife always had to work during the morning of Black Friday (if the trading markets are open, she had to go to work) so I would walk over to the mall and enjoy the people watching. It would get so busy that they would rent out the parking area at a large corporate HQ a few blocks away and shuttle people back and forth. It would always be shoulder to shoulder people in there in the mornings, and as long as I am not in there looking to do any actual shopping I don't mind the crowds. I think in the 3 or 4 years I went over there, I probably bought nothing more than some coffee.

    As for going out and fighting the crowds in order to save a few shekels on some off-brand electronics or some clothes nobody on my gift-giving list actually wants, no thanks.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Apr 2003
    In a new discovered reality where it doesn't snow
    Before I met my wife, I had a tradition. I would get up early on black friday, drive to the mall, and go get a coffee and sit in the mall to watch the chaos. Coffee and maybe a snack was the only thing I would buy, and I would not actually go into any store, but it was fun to watch the craziness of people running around freaking out because the toy of the year that everyone wanted was already sold out.

    Wife has to work on Friday. In the late afternoon, I am going to drive over to a nearby target to get a fake christmas tree.
    Trusting a DC politician with your money is like trusting a hungry dog with a raw steak.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Salmissra's avatar
    Aug 2004
    Central Texas
    My mom would hit one mall for Black Friday. She'd look over all the sales flyers, and pick the mall based on the available sales at specific stores. It was the one day a year that she got up really early voluntarily, and she would have her list, coupons, and route through the mall planned before she parked. She'd always get most if not all of her list, and she'd come home happy, take a nap, then prepare for the rest of the holiday season. She felt it was worth it to get what people wanted for a gift, and she loved (and still loves) getting a deal.

    I have a different approach to the day. As a former retail employee (minion and manager), I avoid the malls if at all possible. However, sometimes you just have to brave the craziness and hunt for something. I refuse to arrive in daylight hours. I leave that for the die-hard crazy people. If I take part in the frenzy, I show up after dinner on Friday, look at what's available at certain stores, get what I need, and leave. I'm nice to the poor clerks, don't mind parking far out for the exercise, and don't pitch a fuss if what I want isn't available in my size. My theory is that if it's what I want, in a color I like, and it's in my size, and still available at 8pm on Black Friday, then I was meant to get it. Otherwise, no go and no fuss.

    I've seen some studies that show retail sales on Thanksgiving evening/overnight have cut into the dollars sold on Black Friday. If the dollars have just moved around, rather than adding up to a greater number, then what's the point of being open on Thanksgiving day itself? Don't the stores have to pay extra for holiday pay on T-day? That cuts into profit too.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  5. #5
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
    May 2005
    The Fox Valley
    Blog entries
    I used to hit up the stores on Black Friday, but typically in the afternoon after the morning frenzy had subsided. It was always nice to make a marathon of it and just get as much of my Christmas shopping done as possible. Nowadays, I do most of my shopping online on Amazon. This year, I've already got most of it done before Thanksgiving. I'll hit up the stores for whatever remaining items I need to get (gift cards, clothes, liquor, home decor, gifts for the dog, etc.) in early-mid December.

    I've just never been into the Black Friday thing and trying to get screaming deals on junk I don't really need. When I worked at Walmart, I got the impression that a lot of the Black Friday shoppers weren't even there to buy for their family, but more to buy for themselves.

    Still, some people love making an annual event out of it. I would see multiple generations of women shopping together and they were so upbeat and happy about engaging in their annual family tradition. They would all be there with their coffee and loaded shopping carts and ask about where the nearest 24 hour restaurants were, so they could grab an early breakfast after the 12am-3am sales ended and before the 5am sales started. I also knew of people who (back in the day when things started at 5 or 6), would make an annual tradition of going down to the flagship Marshall Field's (now Macy's ) on State Street in Chicago.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  6. #6
    I was visiting relatives up north during the Thanksgiving holiday and got drug into going to a early, early morning Black Friday sale. All I'm going to say is never, never again.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
    Jun 2003
    De Noc
    I wonder if the 80% chance of rain around here will keep some away ?
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)

    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

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