Will you be compelled to shop on Black Friday this year?

Monday, November 17, 2014


By James Pearson

As Black Friday draws near, businesses are preparing for the multitude of customers that will be assembling outside their stores later this month.

Although I have never gone out early in the morning or late Thanksgiving evening for Black Friday shopping, I am probably in the minority.

“Black    Friday,    the    day    after Thanksgiving, is a term used by the retail industry in the United States that signifies the start of the Christmas holiday shopping season,” writes Eastern Illinois professor Linda Simpson in An Analysis of Consumer Behavior on Black Friday.

In the 1950s, some factory managers referred to the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday” because so many workers called in sick,” wrote Nancy Koehn in an article titled “The History of Black Friday.”

According to Koehn, in the early 1960s, Philadelphia police used the term to describe the congestion of shoppers in center city.

By the 1980s, some shop owners pointed out that the profitable post- Thanksgiving rush put ‘black ink’ on their balance sheets for the first time all year,” she wrote. “The idea that ‘Black Friday’ was the day when retailers historically came 

out of the red and went into the black by beginning to turn a profit.”

While Black Friday is a great time to buy gifts early, not all people feel the need to do so on that day.

But Black Friday does have numerous pros and cons associated with it.

When it comes to Black Friday, there are benefits that shouldn’t be ignored which include special bargains on products for customers and finishing your holiday shopping early.

The Consumer Reports website predicts that televisions will be the highest selling item this year.

One survey, done by the retail trade website, National Retail Federation, suggested that consumers will spend an average of $459.87 on gifts for their family, up 6.5 percent from $432.00 last year, and $80.00 on gifts for friends, up from $75.00 last year.

However, some concerns about Black Friday are the dangers involved.

In 2008, a Walmart worker in Long Island was trampled to death by shoppers who damaged the store’s door, while in 2011, a woman in Los Angeles pepper sprayed shoppers attempting to buy a XBOX gaming console and Wii video games.

Despite the violence that may occur on this day, consumers remain interested

in Black Friday shopping. It has reached its highest level in eight years, according to Accenture’s annual holiday shopping survey.

Since Black Friday has become popular, other days have been created that promote consumer excitement.

In 2005, Cyber Monday, which is the Monday after Black Friday, was established by online retailers to service people who purchase products via the internet for discounts.

During Cyber Monday consumers can have access to free shipping, depending on the store’s policy.

Whether you’re a supporter of Black Friday or not it all depends on the way you perceive the holiday.

I believe that retailers should reduce the hours that employees work on Black Friday, so it doesn’t squander family time.

Also, it bothers me to see violence happen for getting a sale following a day you were saying what you were thankful for.

But if you do go out on Black Friday this year, remember to exercise caution and plan well, especially considering the risks of identity theft, stealing, and fighting.

Contact JamesPearson at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

By James Pearson

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