Are retailers taking Black Friday too far?
Black Friday is just around the corner, and retailers are racing to advertise blockbuster deals and their extended hours. Many of the major retailers will open at midnight or earlier on Thanksgiving or sooner, which has sparked backlash from some employees. In the future, will Black Friday always begin on Thursday night? Retailers are even dealing with shoppers who are camping out a week in advance to be first in line for TVs, Playstations, Androids, iPads, iPhones, and whatever else is on sale at blow out prices this year.
There is a whole list of major retailers ready to go for this year’s Black Friday and a good number of them will be opening at midnight and some as early as 10pm, Thursday. The plan to open earlier on Thanksgiving is an attempt to goose sales. Sales forecasts this year are said to be just half of last year’s numbers. In recent years, as many as 22 million shoppers braved turkey coma a day later and went shopping.
Workers with family plans are upset with this year’s plan to start late Thursday. Some retailers are scheduling workers for 9 PM on Thanksgiving as they get ready to open as early as 10PM on Thanksgiving night. Not enough time to do the dishes!
Mary Ann, 33, is upset about her schedule, a cashier at a large discount department store, “My family dinner on Thanksgiving will still be on the table and I will be off to work. Why do they need to do such things? Last year, we had more than 50,000 customers over a three day period during Black Friday weekend. My store made loads of money. Now that’s not good enough this year. I am upset that after all the family commotion at my house I won’t even be able to get a nap before a crazy 10 hour shift. When did they think I was going to sleep?”
Some of Mary Ann’s co workers have resigned rather than work the new crazy Black Friday hours. “I feel bad for some of these guys that need their jobs. The company has them over a barrel. We work hard all year and now they want more from us” says, Mary Ann.
What is uncertain is whether shoppers will follow the retailer’s lead and flood the stores on Thanksgiving evening. No one knows for sure. The tradition is to get out on Friday morning and hit the stores early for the hottest deals. Some shoppers even go as far as keeping a tradition of sleeping on the doorstep of their favorite shops to be first in the store on Friday. For retailers with sleep over shoppers, it is a great opportunity to serve hot coffee and snacks ahead of the opening. How are they going to welcome shoppers on Thursday evening?
It will be interesting to see how workers respond after having to head into work Thursday night. For some, Thanksgiving has been the only day all the stores are closed. Thanksgiving celebrations let families unwind and relax and gives people a chance to re-charge. With the economy so bad and the stores so hungry for big holiday sales numbers, something has to give. Looks like some of us will be working Thursday night and won’t be too happy about it.
How about you? Are you willing to get in the car at 3 AM and drive to Best Buy, Walmart or where ever for save a few bucks? Hmmmm. This year, I started saving my Christmas dollars in January and had all my gifts bought and hidden away by August. Hey, who the remote? Hey, who is getting the firewood? Warm up some of that Brie would ya? I want a little snack after my nap!
Happy holiday shopping y’all!
dp@large is in front of the fireplace!
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