Sunday, November 24, 2013

I Liked Black Friday BEFORE It Was *#%$##* BLACK FRIDAY!!!

It has always been my tradition to start Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving.  Wherever I worked, they KNEW I would not be there on the day after Turkey Day.  My daughter and I would trek over to Michigan City, Merrillville or Fort Wayne.  If the weather was bad, we went to the local malls.  It was always a busy day to shop, but we enjoyed being in the crowd and stopping somewhere for a nice lunch. That was before the Black Friday Frenzy hit. On Saturday, we always put up the tree and decorated the house. It was always an enjoyable weekend.

Then, some marketing engineer invented Black Friday. (After doing a little research, I found that Black Friday dates back to 1924 but it was never marketed to today's standards).  Out came the sale ads luring us with hugely discounted prices on just about anything you can imagine. Some hold off major purchases to see what the Thanksgiving newspaper will bring. Then they pour over the ads, making lists and creating their shopping strategies. Some (and I can never understand this one, especially since I live in the snowy Midwest) actually camp out in line at stores so they have a better chance to acquire the booty.  Retailers used to keep their ads a huge secret. Then the internet hackers came along a sneaked a peek on line of what deals were in store for the public.  Now retailers "leak" their ads themselves hoping to lure you there with earlier hours and deeper price cuts. Now, Walmart even offers to price match other retailer's ads BEFORE Black Friday.

About 20 years ago, K-Mart came up with the idea of opening with special deals on Thanksgiving. We had severe lack of funds back then.  The  sound on our TV broke in about September.  We brought another TV into the room so we could watch TV on the bigger screen while we listened to the smaller one.  We were hoping to hold off buying a new TV until Black Friday.  BUT, K-mart advertised opening on Thanksgiving at 8:00 in the AM and offered a 23" TV for $184. Back then that was a BIG TV at a super price.  So off we went to buy a TV.  No lines.  FEW people were even there to shop.  The clerk didn't even know where to find that TV. Finally Terry helped her get it and several others down from a high wall shelf.  A few other shoppers were there to get one too. We went back home to fix our meal and watch Macy's Parade and football on our new TV.  Opening on T-Day must have been a bust because it was years later before the stores started opening on Thanksgiving again.

So here we are with the Christmas shopping season upon us.  Our new tradition is to go to Menards.  They always have great stocking stuffers and its now a one stop event since our boys are older and we give them money to spend on after Christmas deals. Then we stop for breakfast and on to home to decorate the house.
No, I'm not shopping on Thanksgiving this year...but I thought about it for a minute when I saw that Walmart would have some unknown brand 32" TV for $98.  Nope...not going.  I'm promoting boycotting Thanksgiving Day shopping and hope EVERYONE else does too so workers are able to enjoy the day with their families or at the very least rest up for a very busy few weeks.

How about you?  Do you venture out on Black Friday?  How do you feel about shopping on Thanksgiving? O, I forgot.  Will you be shopping at small locally owned stores on Saturday?  I will.


jinxxxygirl said...

I think as Consumers we forget just how much 'power' we have. We complain about the commercialism of the Holidays but then go out and buy just the things we say we hate about it.. If we stop shopping on Thanksgiving then the store will catch on and then all those employees can be home with their families.... We can achieve great things with numbers.... Nope i will not be shopping on Thanksgiving and i hope everyone else doesn't either.

I can remember when i worked at Lowe's for 15 years and one year they decided to open on Easter. All the employees were shocked. Surely this is a test run and it will go back to normal the next year...... but nope it never did.

My family and i don't spend alot on each other for Christmas... We try to make it about spending time together... A few of us crafty family members will force :) our crafts on others but thats about it.... Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Carol! Be thinking about ya! Hugs! deb

Jeanna said...

Hi Carol! I do NOT shop on Black Friday...mostly because I like my sleep :) We spend that day getting our tree and decorating the house for Christmas.

I agree, NO shopping on Thanksgiving either!

Yes, I will be supporting small businesses on Saturday. One place I'm looking forward to visiting is a quilt store...I have fabric needs ;)

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and safety as you venture out of Friday.

Carol said...

Bless you and all who are choosing to boycott shopping on thanksgiving! My grandson will not be able to be with us this year since he works for Walmart and has to be there hours before the actual sale begins to help prepare. I don't think consumers consider that either. May everyone flex their consumer muscles and bring families home for Thanksgiving!

Roberta Warshaw said...

I always stay home on Black Friday because I really hate crowds and driving the crowded roads. In fact I try and stay away from the stores entirely between now and Christmas. I shop online.

Timaree said...

The sales were so great for things we were actually looking for one year that we succumbed and headed out early but didn't snag the vcr's because people were loading up on multiples. Wehate crowds and this was an extreme crowd full of rude people so we left and went over to a small Sears outlet where there was no one and got our vcrs even cheaper! WWe've never ventured again nor will I ever. As for going on the holiday itself, never have and never will. If we want stuff that badly we aren't exactly grateful for what we already have are we? I really don't want to turn the Holidays into just commercialism!

Penny said...

No shopping for me at all. I never have shopped on black Friday, even when I was actually buying gifts for family. The only time I ventured out on Thanksgiving was the year I forgot the whipped cream for the pie. In those days even the grocery store was closed so no cream that year. During this time of the year I only go to the 'big box' stores if I absolutely need something that can't be purchased somewhere else.

UrbanFrog said...

We don't have Thanksgiving here in New Zealand, so that isn't an issue, but Black Friday.... Ooooo... I like!
It is one of those American-only things, but I discovered it totally by accident two years ago when I was browsing on Amazon. I was looking to see what the price was on a season of a dvd series I collect. I usually have to wait around 3 years after a season release for the price to come down to where my financially-challenged budget can afford. I happened to be browsing on Black Friday (not knowing what that was) and two seasons - one normally at $49.95 and the other at $39.95 were both down to $9.95. Even with shipping costs it was so worth it (both still retailing for $59.95 here in NZ). Needless to say, I have my Amazon wishlist ready for this year :) I love Black Friday and online shopping :)

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Here in Canada we used to look on in awe at the chaos that was Black Friday in the US and couldn't figure out why people would put themselves through that. Well, now it seems the retailers here are starting to jump on the band wagon and are pushing it too. Not for me...I hate shopping at the best of times and just the thought of being in crowds gives me the heebie jeebies.

GlorV1 said...

Hi Carol. I don't do Black Friday. I just could not stand in line and have someone right in back "accidentally pushing" me. As for shopping on Thanksgiving, I don't think so. It's about family and thankfulness not shopping. :) Take care dear.