You must have seen the videos that appear every year. Pushing, shoving, knocking each other down, and fighting over "must have" merchandise. It can get ugly. Employees must fear for their own safety seeing those masses of people charging at them. Sometimes entry doors get broken, displays are trashed and people get knocked down and trampled. The lucky employees at least have a counter to "protect" them. I wonder if shoppers really need those products or not. Is it the mob frenzy mindset taking over and driving their actions? Once shoppers have grabbed what's available, it's time to stand in long, snaking lines at the check out. Some people thrive on this excitement, saying it's all part of the holiday spirit. Others (like me) having experienced the insanity one time too many, vow never to be part of that chaos again. I have no desire to be surrounded by rude, aggressive and greedy people.
Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated as a time for us to pause and give thanks for the good things we enjoy in our lives such as family, friends, health, jobs, food, freedom, football and more. Some people choose give back to the community and volunteer their time at soup kitchens or donate money/items to food banks. The holiday's origins trace back to the “first Thanksgiving,” however, it was neither a feast nor a holiday, but a simple gathering. Following the Mayflower’s arrival at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620, the Pilgrims suffered the lost of 46 of their original 102 colonists. With the help of 91 Indians, the remaining Pilgrims survived the bitter winter and yielded a bountiful harvest in 1621. In celebration, a traditional English harvest festival, lasting three days brought the Pilgrims and natives to unite in a “thanksgiving” observance. (allabouthistory.org) In modern times, it is still tradition to gather around the table (at home or at a restaurant) to enjoy a feast to celebrate our bountiful lives and to strengthen our bonds with those in our lives who are important to us. This holiday is one of the busiest travel days of the year as people travel, sometimes great distances, to come together.
Traditionally, retailers were closed on Thanksgiving. Black Friday was the first day of traditional Christmas shopping, during which crowds of consumers are drawn in to take advantage of special offers by retailers. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit.
Things have changed over time. Now, "Black Friday" has turned into "Black Thursday". Holiday shopping creep has moved into Thanksgiving Day with retailers now opening their doors to shoppers on Thanksgiving. Of course, this means their employees no longer have the day off to celebrate the holiday. Reaction to this change has been mixed. Shoppers are showing up, but does this really mean they actually approve of this practice, or are they simply being manipulated by retailers who are trying to utilize as much time as possible prior to Christmas to boost their sales and profits? Black Thursday may now be the new "norm" but are shoppers really "choosing" to shop that day or are they simply "responding" to retailer induced changes?
A survey by consulting firm Accenture found that 45 percent of Americans planned to shop on Turkey Day, up from 38 percent last year. And most shoppers had few qualms about leaving the holiday dinner table: 32 percent of shoppers said they would avoid brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving because it would interfere with family time, down from 41 percent last year. (wsj.com)
Ironically, Black Friday isn't necessarily the best day to snag the best prices. Instead, retailers’ biggest price cuts last year came on the Monday before Thanksgiving, and shoppers who bought items on Thanksgiving Day snapped up the season’s lowest prices, according to Adobe. The weeks before the Black Friday weekend offered better deals than the weeks leading up to Christmas. What’s more, those who shopped on Black Friday were more likely to find items out of stock. In addition, more shoppers are moving towards making their purchases on line. (wsj.com)
This year, some retailers have decided NOT to open on Thanksgiving, and are promoting their decision to do so. It's no longer notable when a retailer says it will stay open on Thanksgiving Day. Instead, it makes headlines when one says it's going to close. The moves to make Thursday the new Black Friday has drawn petitions, boycotts and plenty of questions about worker fairness and the effect on employee morale. It's also unclear whether the holiday openings will even help these stores in the long run. Though some data has shown an upside, retail consultants have warned that Thanksgiving sales could just cannibalize purchases that would have happened on Friday. (washingtonpost.com)
What are you going to be doing on Thanksgiving? Eat, relax and enjoy the day with those you love? Or are you going to eat and run....to the store?