Our View…Ready, set – STOP!By the time you read this, folks have already been lined up outside at least one major electronics chain store for days in anticipation of the earlier-than-ever post-Thanksgiving sales.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
By the time you read this, folks have already been lined up outside at least one major electronics chain store for days in anticipation of the earlier-than-ever post-Thanksgiving sales.
At least one woman told a morning news show that she took two vacation days off work prior to the Thanksgiving holiday in order to wait in line outside her favorite big box retailer – in order to save money.
Another defended the retailers who have chosen to jump the gun on Black Friday and open as early as 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, stating they shouldn’t be accused of luring shoppers away from home on a family holiday. She argued that since they all go and wait in line for the big bargains together, it’s as significant a family togetherness time as sitting around the turkey-laden table at home.
One critic of the whole Black Friday phenomenon charged that it’s turned from shopping into sport.
And to be sure, some 147 million people across the country are gearing up for the frantic annual shopping experience when big box or chain retailers feature discounted prices on selected items in hopes of luring more shoppers into the store. It’s become something of a cult phenomenon, probably more to be talked about than to actually get better deals than during any other part of the Christmas shopping season. While some might refer to it as fiscally responsible purchasing, the argument could be made that it’s more like a feeding frenzy.
Dyed-in-the-wool shopper or not, the annual race to the checkout has entered into an entirely new realm with this year’s announcement by several major retailers that they will open on Thanksgiving Day in order to get a jump on the next guy. Not only will this lure a certain percentage of the population away from their homes and families, but it will necessitate that the clerks and staff at those stores be forced to do so as well.
Admittedly, the economy is still on the rebound and businesses feel driven to maximize sales in order to succeed. But that same shopping experience can certainly be experienced without the blatant disregard of one holiday in order to ramp up for the next (and more lucrative) one.
A couple of years ago, an enterprising group came up with the idea of declaring the Saturday following Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday. It basically encourages shoppers to stick close to home and patronize businesses that are small and local on a day not associated with Thanksgiving Day itself. While the local stores might not be able to offer you as deeply discounted a price on that flat screen TV that you’ve been coveting, the money you save by shopping close by and eating turkey sandwiches at home will likely be significant. Your home town – and your family – will thank you for it.