As another Black Friday has come and gone it has once again got me thinking about the whole idea of the day. I understand the value for the stores, huge volumes of people rushing into your store to snatch the latest and greatest products off of the shelves. One can almost see the dollar signs hanging in the air as the registers are practically smoking from all the swipes of the scanner. For the consumer, big savings on their favorite products and the joy of getting that certain gift for a special someone.
But what is it all worth? People getting pepper sprayed by other customers, trampled, and even worse, all to save a few bucks. Have people become that materialistic and have social influences become that strong that if one does not get that last product on the shelf that, that they must go on a rampage throughout the store only to attack the person who did get that last item? I know one thing is for sure, that sure captures the perfect image of the Christmas Spirit. Not!
By now you can probably guess my opinions of this special day and how I think it has gotten a bit out of hand. But who’s to blame for this? I personally would place a lot of blame on the retailers themselves. Many stores state in their ads that prices are good on the items, while supplies last. However they fail to mention that those supplies only total about 5-10 items. Once shoppers realize this, the mass hysteria ensues to be sure that they are one of those lucky 10 to get the product. However not all blame can be placed on the retailers themselves. The shoppers have a large part in this as well. We now live in a world where image is everything and many of those products sold on Black Friday are a strong part of that image. People are willing to do almost anything to get their hands on that certain product to “improve” their image.
Sadly I don’t think these things are ever going to change. Stores are not going to stop giving those door buster deals that bring in all that cash. And the world isn’t going to become any less materialistic. Image is, and will continue to be, an import part of the American culture.
On another note unrelated to my ranting above I would like to add one more statement. I think it is completely ridiculous that stores thought opening any earlier would help the crowds. Same crowd, earlier time, equals same mad rush, just earlier. I also find it sad that the Thanksgiving holiday is almost nonexistent anymore. It is simply the day before Black Friday. Or as in the case of some store deals this year, one day earlier to start Black Friday.