With Thanksgiving barely two days away, stores across the country are prepping for the big day. They aren’t thawing the turkey or planning the arrival of their relatives, but are instead stocking their shelves for the early morning blitz the morning after. Black Friday will soon be upon us, and with it the droves of obsessive shoppers.
Admittedly, I have a love/hate relationship with Black Friday. While my gag reflex kicks in at the very thought of waking up at 2:30 am to fight off frenzied, coffee-wired soccer moms for the last $5 sweater, one of my favorite pastimes with my mom has been to get up around 8 or 9 on Friday, leisurely get ready and drive to the mall, and park ourselves on a bench with a coffee in hand to watch crazed women (and men!) claw at eachother for those early-bird bargains.
But in the last few years, it seems as though stores are stretching this kick-off of the Christmas shopping season to begin earlier and earlier. I just saw a commercial saying that Target will open at 3 am on Friday, and Kohl’s will follow closely at 4. Best Buy plans to hold off the mobs until 5, but will be handing out first-come, first-served tickets at 3 for highly coveted holiday gifts like game consoles and Rock Band.
When I heard on the radio that Jordan Creek will be opening at midnight for shoppers, I thought Ok, that’s a little excessive. Is such an early time really that beneficial? Apparently so. After reading Best Buy’s opening sales, I realized that the tech store has, in fact, already begun the Black Friday sales. They have had electronics, game systems and other merchandise on “Black Friday week” sales since Monday. Black Friday has become a week-long binge of scoring deals for your Christmas list. Don’t hold up Thanksgiving dinner for me, I’ll be at Best Buy picking up a new plasma screen in time for kick-off of the Giants/Broncos game at 8:20.
This phenomenon has got me wondering — where will consumers draw the line in their holiday shopping spree? Can we just start the savings the day after Halloween? That’s when all the stores seem to ditch the black and orange in favor of red and green anyway; why not add a 20% discount to some useless gift stuff while they’re at it? America is so focused on the commercialism of the Christmas season that they are going to drastic measures to find a good deal.
There’s even an app for that. No joke. CNN posted an article today saying that mall map apps on iPhone are gaining popularity as the dreaded date of the 28th approaches. So you can buy that iPhone on “Black Friday” sale on Wednesday, download the mall map app on Thursday, and on Friday be all set to throw fisticuffs for that $20 pair of boots at Dillards. Happy holidays!