Black Friday is its own holiday for some people. They wake up before sun rise on the day after Thanksgiving and have already stood in line for hours before the rest of us have awoken from our tryptophan induced sleep. While there’s something admirable about the drive and determination involved in participating in Black Friday, I’ve dubbed it Black and Blue Friday because of some of the horror stories I’ve heard and read about in years past. I don’t participate in the festivities, so I’m always left with the following questions.
Are the Black Friday injuries worth it? Almost every year there are reports of people getting seriously injured on Black Friday, and in some instances even killed, while shopping on this commercial holiday. The prospect of purchasing all the hot, new items at deeply discounted prices is appealing, and there have been years that I was tempted to do it. However, for those people who come back wounded, I always wonder if they feel like it was worth it. For those who don’t survive the event, the question surely answers itself.
Do people actually get the Black Friday sale price on items they were looking for? There are always news reports showing footage of lines going across parking lots and into roadways early in the morning on this day. If that many people are out shopping, and the supply of items is limited, I wonder how many people actually obtain the much-coveted item they ventured out so early to purchase. If the item a person wanted is out of stock, is an obligatory purchase necessary to justify having waited in line for so long?
Does Black Friday actually hurt our economy? I know it’s called Black Friday because it’s the day that most retailers begin to see profits for the year. They go out of the red on this day, and into the black. My question is this, though: if we paid normal prices for things through the season instead of mobbing stores for discounts in a single day, wouldn’t it boost our economy? Sure, it would cost us more in the short term, but in the long run it could mean fewer layoffs and closings.
I’m not judging the ones who choose to participate in “Black and Blue Friday.” The truth is, they’re far braver than I am. I rarely leave the house on Black Friday. I go out of my way to buy what I need before the day arrives. I even try to avoid having to buy a gallon of milk or a tank of gas on the day after Thanksgiving. For those of you who do participate in the event, I wish you safe shopping. As for me, I’m likely to be MIA until Saturday.
(Note: After publishing this, I came across other authors who also call this day “Black and Blue Friday.” It truly is an apt name for it. I’ve included links to their articles under supporting links. Check them out.)