Sales are wonderful and everyone knows that I love a good one (who doesn’t?). With the holidays just around the corner, everyone is on the edge of their seats for deep discount deals that will lead to praises of “this is the best gift ever!” come Christmas day. How do many Americans think they’ll accomplish this feat? Black Friday.
Black Friday. Traditionally, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when stores have mondo-sales and are banking on present-stumped mothers wanting to work off their turkey-based food babies by a wrestling for “cheap” game consoles and Ferbies. This makes a lot of sense, considering the amount of traffic between families the day after the one-day family reunion, people probably figure “well, it’s either I settle down in a department store parking lot and stand in a line for sweaters for four hours or sit in my car on the highway for four hours in the impromptu parking lot.” Sure. Whatever. I’ll roll with that reasoning for the time being, ignoring the fact that most department stores mark up their prices in order to mark them down for the earth shattering deals, anyway.
I’m sure people legitimately budget for Black Friday, after all, it was created as an extension of holiday gift buying—by all accounts, and by someone who certainly adores gift buying for loved ones—it’s kinda-sorta validated. You have to squint your eyes and blur the screen to rationalize it, but yeah, we’ll go with that. Which is why this year shouldn’t have surprised me.
For many establishments, Black Friday is no longer good enough to get them out of the red. As of Thursday, November 22, 2012, Black Friday will officially be Black Thursday. Establishments such as Walmart, Sears, Target and Toys-R-Us (just to name a few) aren’t waiting until the asscrack of dawn on Friday to realize their retailing dreams, but are opening their doors Thursday evening. Sure, some employees are striking against the man, but we know they won’t get anywhere and it will be cash-money business for huge retailers.
I have a shit ton of issues with this. Thanksgiving already has a dubious past that everyone overlooks, something about the mass killing of Native Americans, but America has trained itself to look past that and celebrate togetherness, awkward familial conversation, delicious food, football and the kick-off of Christmas tunes, instead of dwelling on the aforementioned shadiness. It wasn’t easy, yet we did it. That’s what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about. Ideally, hard working individuals were granted Thanksgiving Thursday off, so they could bond with their children, watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, drink too much alcoholic punch, and eat themselves into a coma. They were granted this because these were/are hardworking individuals who probably don’t regularly get to see their family and bask in the togetherness. Hell, some people need that excuse to see their family, or they wouldn’t make the time. It is not supposed to be about giving the middle finger to your family, skipping out on the dinner, and standing outside of Walmart with bated breath for cut prices on plastic pieces of crap.
I understand the economy right now is tough and stores have been reeling from people being a bit more frugal with their paychecks and boosting sales is all well and good, let’s just start it a few hours later on Friday. I’ll even take 12am on Thursday (Friday?). Maybe, the bigwigs who are worth billions of dollars don’t really understand this (probably because they’re too busy buying $60,000 purses). However, I think it is really, really sad that these companies are so out of touch and are telling people that in the game of materialism vs. family, that brand new 90″ screen is more important.
America. Priorities. You need them.