The day after Thanksgiving has kicked off the holiday shopping season for over half a century. Coined “Black Friday” during the 1960s, it is the day every year where stores rake in the most amount of money within twenty-four hours.
It is also the day customers wait in lines for hours to get the best deal, win a prize or receive a voucher for the item they want. Then, when stores open customers are known to rush in and hunt for the best steal as early as possible—it is a mad house, and it is embarrassing.
Black Friday has turned into “Black Thursday” in recent years. Large retailers discovered they could open earlier and earlier every year to catch the attention of shoppers and create more profits through competitive sales and timing.
While exciting for the consumer, Black Thursday is a retail employee’s worst nightmare.
The San Marcos Premium Outlets and Tanger Outlets will open during the evening of Thanksgiving day with specific times varying from store to store. Many stores will stay open overnight, then reopen the next morning. Black Thursday and Black Friday are generally mandatory for retail employees. For the majority of retailers, this shift is not one that can be taken off, traded or covered by another employee.
The employees who work (usually all) will be paid extra for their labor during the holiday, but their pay will return to normal as soon as the clock strikes midnight, and their shift is technically on Friday.
Black Friday does more harm than good. Employees miss time with their families on Thanksgiving Day, people are often injured, fights over special sales ensue and the traffic is atrocious.
Spewing Black Friday into Thanksgiving Day has been the one of the most blatant symbols for American greed in history and it is absolutely ridiculous.
While shopping on Black Friday, multiple people have suffered serious injuries, some have died and too many have been involved in petty altercations.
According to Melanie Dostis in a NY Daily News article, a retail security guard was trampled and killed in a Black Friday mob at a Walmart in 2013. In 2010, a United States Marine was stabbed in an attempt to stop a shoplifter during a Black Friday sale.
Blackfridaydeathcount.com is a website that tracks deaths and injuries due to Black Friday violence, and reports 7 deaths and ninety-eight injuries in total before the 2016 holiday. If Black Friday was less pandemonium, the deaths likely could have been avoided.
Thanksgiving used to be a time for families to spend time together, while the majority of stores across the U.S. remained closed. However, this tradition is being destroyed in the U.S. by greed.
No matter how retailers try to spin it, the costs of Black Friday are too high. Abolishing it all together is unlikely, but if retailers decided to keep Black Friday on Friday, a lot more people would be home for the holiday.
– Katie Burrell is a mass communications junior