Black Friday goes too far

On Thursday, after a huge meal of turkey, pie, gravy and mashed potatoes, some people settled into a comfy chair to let the ensuing food coma take over and spent time with their families.

However, for serious bargain hunters and retail workers, it was a different story. There was no time to enjoy the post-Thanksgiving meal experience.

According The Washington Post, more chain stores chose to open their doors earlier than ever: some at midnight or even earlier for Black Friday in an effort to attract more consumers and offer more deals.

“Consumer anxiety has resulted in a frenzy among retailers to compete for market share,” Mary Delk, a director for Deloitte Consulting, told The Washington Post. “The inducements and deals are bigger and bolder.”

Major retailers like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target and J.C. Penney chose to open their doors hours earlier than in years past.

The shopping mecca “Mall of America” in Minnesota opened at midnight, the earliest it’s ever opened for Black Friday in its 19-year history.

I should preface my opinion with the fact that I love shopping. My sister and I have a yearly ritual to get up in the wee hours of the morning on this sacred shopping holiday to get the best deals on clothing and holiday shopping. I am 100 percent fine with the blatant commercial extravaganza of this day.

However, this year was different. With the stores opening so early, I would have had to get in line before I had even finished my last bite of turkey. When I showed up at midnight, the lines were so long that we didn’t even stay since we knew nothing would be left.

I love Black Friday, but I’d like to enjoy my holiday first. These early store openings are beginning to encroach on what should be family time.

My fellow shoppers and I are not the only ones upset about shopping time creeping into Thursday. Retail workers who must attempt to corral these shoppers miss out on holiday time, too.

Anthony Hardwick, a cart attendant at Target, has gathered 37,000 signatures on an online petition protesting the earlier opening time.

In order to report to work at 11:00 p.m. and work a 10-hour shift he had to miss most of Thanksgiving so he could sleep. “Everyone at work was resigned because the economy is so bad so our employer as us over a barrel,” he told The Post.

There are just two sacred holidays in America; days that we collectively decide to spend time with our families instead of buying things and working.

Those days are Thanksgiving and Christmas. Let’s preserve their sanctity (and just do that much more shopping the day after).

 

 

Reach the columnist at Emily.Muller@asu.edu

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