How did all of this Black Friday craziness begin? More importantly, where does it end? Is it going to push Thanksgiving right out the door?
Black Friday, a term coined by the media to describe the phenomenon big box retailers created to get consumers to give up a night of sleep — and in more and more cases, a holiday with the family — to stand in line for a “deal” the day after Thanksgiving.
Did the consumers ask for this, or did big box retailers create it? Consumers fear losing out on a discount they feel they really need — and that’s being played upon. Really, these prices could be available during normal hours, instead of forcing employees into work at 2 a.m. and encouraging dangerous frenzy.
We used to love the fact we weren’t open on Sunday, but that eventually gave way to the reality of competition. I wonder if small family business and independent retailers will feel the open-early, hysterical Black Friday push in fear of losing a bunch of business.
And then what? First 5 a.m., then comes 4 in the morning and then why not 3? How about we just kill Thanksgiving all together?
Warners’ Stellian discussed being open early on Friday but decided the culture of our company and our employees mean more than a few extra bucks.
Consumers can push back — and they are — according to a nationwide survey by the Minneapolis-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance that suggested independent businesses may be faring better than chains during the recession.
I loved that the American Independent Business Alliance (we’re a member of local chapter MetroIBA) just took the words out of my mouth: “YOUR READERS DON’T CARE IF SHOPPERS LINE UP AT WALMART EITHER!”
“As people are doing their holiday shopping, we hope they’ll look critically at the corporate advertising onslaught and the claim that big business provides better deals,” said (Jennifer Rockne, co-founder of AMIBA). “When we consider the value of quality products, saving time, and the quality of our experience, we’ll often find our hometown businesses ultimately provide the best deal.” [emphasis added]
Hat tip to WCCO’s Jason DeRusha on Black Friday ads/store openings.