Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Open Discussion: The Expansion of Black Friday

Christmas permeates our culture so much that some radio stations begin exclusively playing Christmas music in mid November, retail stores begin setting up their displays as soon as the Halloween costumes and candy are put away, and we begin to be bombarded with commercials featuring Santa Claus and little black jewelry boxes to take up the vacuum left behind by the sudden disappearance of election ads.

I love Christmas as much as anyone and maybe more than most, so the early onset of these things doesn't really bother me. One much talked about symptom of this expansion is the Black Friday deals that are now taking place well into Thanksgiving Day. Wal-Mart and Kmart begin their sales events on Thursday at 8pm, with new deals every few hours or so, and they are just a couple of examples of this new practice by major retailers to take advantage of the busiest shopping season of the year.

So what do you think of this trend? Should stores wait until the traditional start times of pre-dawn on Friday? Should businesses open whenever there are customers to shop?

Here's an interesting article from a paper in Lexington, Kentucky. The article itself laments this change but gives some fun(ny) tips on surviving the day, but make sure to read the first comment on the article. It's posted by a reader who claims to be a manager at a retailer and urges everyone to not shop on these early sales as they only dictate to the companies that it's ok to keep pushing back the start time into Thanksgiving. He laments the loss of holiday time with his own family without any sort of bonus or extra compensation, despite his job being much harder and working longer shifts to cover the expanded hours and events. How does the lives of the retail workers fit into the discussion?

Click on the comment link to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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