Once Halloween is over, people start planning their Thanksgivings and Christmases. And as Thanksgiving approaches, so does the favorite “holiday” of shopaholics: Black Friday. Stores reap amazing profits — “in the black” — because of avid shoppers. To make substantial profits however, stores must compete for the maximum number of customers. One of the most popular ways of attracting shoppers is by opening early. But how early is too early?
It seems that each year, big stores open earlier and earlier for Black Friday. It started out as 6 am on Friday, cut back to 12 am, then 8 pm of Thursday, and now malls open at 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day. Employees in stores are unable to have a proper Thanksgiving meal because of business competition. These workers deserve a day off on a national holiday and should not be required to work when they could be spending time with their families. Of course, some of these employees probably need any extra pay they can get, but are those few extra dollars really worth the sacrifice of family time?
The whole concept of a family dinner is starting to fade away as shopping takes over. Too many Americans have started to value discounted prices more than the tradition of a Thanksgiving dinner. Opening stores at 6 pm causes shopping fanatics to start camping outside malls even earlier than usual. Who needs a large meal when there are ridiculous sales going on? As society becomes increasingly materialistic, the American tradition starts to slip away. Business competition is necessary for an economically successful country, but opening stores for Black Friday when it isn’t even Friday is absurd.
Clearly, there are significant downsides to having early opening times for Black Friday deals. However, not everyone is opposed to the increased shopping time. There are quite a few families who have a simple meal and don’t do much to celebrate Thanksgiving — just by choice. The opportunity to shop and have fun is irresistible when there is nothing else to do (except maybe sleep). For these people, the earlier openings are even better because they don’t have to sacrifice sleep to shop to their heart’s content.
Black Friday has been around for over 50 years and will definitely continue to increase in popularity in the future, but opposition may also increase. Asking employees to work unreasonable hours during such a holiday can likely cause dissent. Maybe we should just leave Black Friday on a Friday; what’s the need for a Black Thursday?