Friday, November 25, 2005

Black Friday

Today is Black Friday. This is the traditional big first shopping day of the holiday season. This is the day when retailers will go in the "black" because of all of the shoppers spending their money for bargains. They say they will earn 40% of their annual revenue today.

I have never gone shopping on Black Friday. This won’t surprise anyone who knows me, as they know shopping is not one of my favorite past times. Many have tried to convert me. I’m regaled with wondrous stories of tremendous bargains by folks with a wistful look in their eyes. The Black Friday Experience is like an epiphany for some. Despite the stories I’ve heard from people who do love to shop, I don’t feel I’m missing anything of value. I have decided opinions on this subject.

This is the day retailers bring out new products that have been hyped for months. They sell them at what they say are ridiculously reduced prices. They never have enough for everyone. Usually, these are items no one really needs. In January, they will be sold for even less. In a year, they will be obsolete. But today, they are "must have" items. This all sounds like Marketing 101 – Supply and Demand.

People get up at three in the morning, wait in long lines in the freezing cold and then fight over the few pieces on store shelves. As I watch the news, I see people trampling, punching and knocking each other over. One old woman had her wig knocked off and had to be removed from the store by emergency services people because she was so traumatized. Police were called in and arrested a few shoppers. Ah, our taxes put to good use.

Reporters interviewed some witnesses. One suggested the store have enough product on hand for all of the possible shoppers. Another said there should have been more security.

Here are some ideas: People acting like human beings. People using some manners. People not acting like starving famine survivors going after gruel.


  1. Vanessa, I have to admit that I have a lurid fascination with the "trampling" videos one finds on the TV news the night of Black Friday. Two years ago, when the news started showing the Black Friday tramplings at store openings, watching what I call The Tramplin' is every bit as much of a Thanksgiving tradition for me as turkey and gravy. It's gotten so that if Guinny is watching the news, and I'm in another room, she'll say, "Hey, better get in here. There's going to be a tramplin' on TV."

  2. Andy,

    What a great idea. A holiday tradition for a new millennium. I'll be planning a trampling party for next year.