Thanksgiving is around the corner and with that the darkest of all shopping days, Black Friday. The retailers self proclaimed holiday of consumerism and consumption where the Christmas season officially kicks off. Black Friday is claimed to be, for some, the biggest revenue day of the year. When you are in the profit game that’s a big deal.
Over the past 10 years as social media, the internet shopping sites and loose lipped employees have made the mystery and sticker shock surprises of the ‘deals’ all but gone. Now it’s a battle to the death between the stores. Capitalism in full force.
As an expansion of this in our downed economy the retailers are pushing the traditional unwritten rules of decency around the the Thanksgiving holiday. There is nothing that says a store cannot be open on Thanksgiving Day. Although with the current White House it wouldn’t surprise me if a law is proposed to ban retailers being open to keep it ‘fair’ for the little guys. Anyway, the beauty of how the free market works is that it will do what the customers will tolerate. Set your price too high and they don’t buy, open at odd hours and you won’t maximize reaching all your potential customers, and so on.
This year several big chain stores are not opening early Friday morning, 4am, rather they are going open at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day. Best Buy is opening at 6pm, Kmart is opening at 6am, Sears, Toys R us, The Gap and few others are also opening on Turkey Day.
Now, you may think that a 6pm open is not that bad, you can still get a full day of family dinner then head over to the store. As a veteran Black Friday participant of years past I can tell you this is not the case. If you are thinking about entering and purchasing any of the deals that are offered that day you need to get there 8 to 10 hours in advance and get in line. This is no joke and you will see people camping out Thursday morning. The media is focusing on the open time not what it means to the customers that actually want to get anything good on day one.
I am full defense of the retailers. They can do what they want. Their employees will work or not, make time and half in most cases, or they will try to get out of it. That’s the risk of working in retail, there are times you are going to work when it is inconvenient to your personal life. It happens. If the employees don’t like it, they can choose to work elsewhere.
In this free market you have a choice, to shop on Thursday or not. If you don’t like it, don’t shop. If you want to get the deals, then shop. As a country if Thursday November 28th is a make or break family togetherness, in this world of instant communication, video chats, and still have the old style telephones then we as a society need to work on that the other 364 days of the year.
The same hype pops up when the NFL expands their Thanksgiving Day football games and Christmas games. Same solution, don’t turn the TVs on this is not forced upon us folks. Choose to or choose not to.
The reality of it is I will never do a Black Friday camp out again, I did it for a few years with a crew of friends. Get in line 9pm Thursday night for a 5am Best Buy opening. That was pre-children years, now I have the fullest respect for time and value. The time, Minnesota cold weather, crowds, greed, hassle to save money. I will hunt for a good deal or pay full price because any discount won’t exceed the work you need to put in on Black Friday to get it. Sure you saved $50 on a new camcorder, but was the exhaustion and 8 hours in line with 300 other people less than $50? Would you take $50 to stand in a line like that? Probably not.
But then again, that’s my choice.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.