Black Friday Sanity v. Consumer Craziness

November 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Fools of Finance

An entire mini-industry has been constructed around Black Friday, our newest national holiday. Much more is written about Black Friday deals, leaks, strategies, and other craziness than is written about the origin and meaning of Thanksgiving. Now some some stores are opening at midnight (Target being one of them), forcing employees to work on Thanksgiving. It is all so pathetic.

Twice in my life I made a deliberate effort to grab a Black Friday deal. The experiences were more tiring than rewarding.  The “deals” on televisions and other electronics are mostly on the low-end models. The best deals on the better products can be found closer to Christmas, not on Black Friday.

Nevertheless, people show up in droves.  I saw people camped out in tents in a Best Buy parking lot.  For the spenders among us, it is their Super Bowl. What does that say about them? Is this considered a sensible frugal activity? Or are these folks simply caught up in the marketing hype? I think the latter. They have been told that shopping at 4:00 AM is “fun.” So to them, it must be, whether they like it or not.

I’m not the only one who is disappointed in the increasing scope of the Black Friday National Holiday. Target is receiving push-back on its “open at midnight” plan, including from at least one employee.

This is Target’s lame response:

By opening at midnight, we are making it easier than ever to deliver on our guests’ wants and needs.

Really? Then why doesn’t Target have killer deals and open at midnight every Friday?   Was a petition filed by thousands of “guests” demanding – needing – midnight shopping privileges ON THANKSGIVING?


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2 Responses to “Black Friday Sanity v. Consumer Craziness”
  1. kitty says:

    Some people just want excitement. It’s probably a competitive sport these days which gives people “high”. Back in the Soviet Union the high was getting an item or food that was considered “deficit” be it bananas, tomatoes that are early in season or an imported pair of shoes. In the US it’s buying something at a discount. But on Black Friday it looks like there is the “competition” aspect of it that wakes people’s hunting instinct:

    It also provides a little bit of satisfaction to those of us who stay away from this.

  2. Noel says:

    Although this was from last year, I was looking for finance blogs on Black Friday. I have gone straight from Thanksgiving dinner to stalking stores opening early. This year, I think I have to be more frugal than in the past. I may skip it. It depends how much I need to escape my family and out of town guests.

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