By Alexis Agiliga
The traditional holiday shopping season commences on the Friday after Thanksgiving. After a day full of turkey and pie people start lining up for all the great deals up until the wee hours in the morning. Black Friday can get very intense, very quickly. We have all heard the horror stories and seen the videos of people getting trampled by the crowds in their neighborhood Walmart―honestly, a great way to begin the holiday season.
I’m convinced that Black Friday is a scam. I’m certain that there are better promotional deals throughout the year. During Black Friday there are only a limited number of “big ticket” items and an excess of unruly customers and lines. It just makes more sense to begin all the holiday shopping when the conditions are ideal and the discounts aren’t extremely exaggerated.
For the past couple of years, I’ve noticed more and more stores opening their doors on Thanksgiving day, even as early as 4 p.m. Some families don’t start the feast until 3:00, leaving only an hour for dinner, dessert, and quality family time. Not to mention the underpaid retail workers who are stuck at their jobs for 12+ hours.
I’m not sure whether to be more outraged at the companies trying to diminish the holiday or the people who actually participate in the “early bird deals.” On one hand I understand that money needs to be made, but there is always Friday! I guess shopping can be considered a bonding experience, although I can’t imagine why people would want to bond in crowded stores when they could be at home playing a cut-throat game of Monopoly.
I was at Old Navy on Friday night, a disappointing trip to say the least. The store looked like a complete wasteland. The storewide sale of 15% of everything didn’t include clearance, and the full price items ranged from $30-$55. This just goes to show the Black Friday sales are over-exaggerated!
I was talking to an employee and she told me, “Yea, the people who worked Thursday during Thanksgiving had Jimmy John’s.” Not to bash Jimmy John’s but, no thank you! I would feel awful knowing that my entire family is eating a nice three course meal while I’m stuck with a sad sandwich. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many retail employees who are forced into work on holidays. Additionally, Black Friday isn’t considered a holiday, so there is no time and a half payment for retail workers.
Amidst all the shopping shenanigans, there are some big stores such as TJX Companies, Ikea, and Patagonia that are closed on Thursday. These companies realize the importance of family and consider employee interest when making decisions.
Thanksgiving is a time to relax and spend time with loved ones. It would be ideal if all stores closed on Thanksgiving day to preserve the holiday, but our capitalist society does not encourage familial values.