Artwork by Catherine Ferguson
It’s official: the holiday season has begun. No matter which holiday you celebrate, if any, this season is usually one of gift-giving. People are often in search of the best sales to buy gifts for their loved ones and friends. That’s where Black Friday comes in … or used to, at least.
In the past, Black Friday was a designated day for businesses to put on their best sales, called “doorbusters,” to start off the giving season. Fueled by turkey, pumpkin pie and maybe a little pent-up anger from the political debate sparked by that aunt at Thanksgiving the day before, many wake up at the crack of dawn to shop ‘til they drop, literally.
As one might imagine, Black Friday tends to be a nightmare for retail employees: having to deal with caffeine-crazed customers fighting over the last few items or calmly trying to subdue the lady at checkout who swears that item was an extra 20 percent off. Many businesses have recognized this, and in an effort to control and organize the chaos, they have come up with a few solutions.
For one, many businesses, like Target and Walmart, have begun to start Black Friday sales early. Days and even weeks before Black Friday, shoppers can stroll into some retail stores to find that many items are already marked down, or they can opt to go Thanksgiving night. Other businesses have extended their sales through the entire weekend in an effort to spread out the wave of customers who come looking for deals. However, the most significant change to Black Friday has been the addition of Cyber Monday.
The Monday after Thanksgiving, online sales begin. Shoppers, still wearing their pajamas and a pair of fuzzy socks, can now shop the same deals from their couch with a warm cup of hot chocolate. In short, online shopping is more efficient and more comfortable, as opposed to the long lines and crowded stores of Black Friday. This has contributed to a major shift to online shopping, and thus, year after year, fewer customers show up to that “doorbuster” sale the day after Thanksgiving.
Olivia Longsworth (11) is a strong supporter of Cyber Monday. She comments, “I went shopping on my computer this year. You don’t even have to go out of your house for Black Friday sales. Instead, you can sit in the comfort of your own home and buy the exact same things.”
Neeley Mathes (11) says, “I think [Black Friday] needs to go back to when the stores open right at 12:00 a.m. The fact that they open early takes away the whole point of there being doorbusters in the first place, and it also takes away from Thanksgiving, which is about being thankful for what you have. Black Friday needs to stay true to its name; it shouldn’t bleed into the rest of the weekend and especially not Thanksgiving."
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