Black Friday, the day notorious for thousands of people fighting over who can get the best deals, only hours after saying how thankful they were for everything in their lives. Although online shopping on Cyber Monday has cut the crowds significantly, some say that the thrill of hitting the stores and the great prices could not be beat. However, according to the president of Customer Growth Partners, Craig Johnson, “This is the best Black Friday in three or four years. It’s not quite as robust as the ones of the mid- 2000s, but the best of the last few years.”
At many malls, TV’s were the big seller, with lines twisting out the door at Best Buy stores well into the afternoon, even though the stores opened the night before. On the other hand, Target offered doorbusters like a 3- foot teddy bear for only 10 dollars. These plush bears were a hit, selling 600 a minute. Doors opened at 6 p.m. on Thursday and closed at midnight. They opened back up on Friday at 6 a.m. and closed at midnight.
However, the most significant controversy this year was whether some stores opening Thanksgiving night was right or not. After years of shopping seeming to start earlier and earlier, retailers are revolting and are taking sides. This controversy is a moral tug-of-war between keeping family time sacred on the holiday and Americans cutting that family time short for a killer deal instead.
According to a survey by “BestBlackFriday.com,” most Americans did not plan to shop on the Thanksgiving holiday. The website’s poll surveyed 502 U.S. adults and found out that 54 percent dislike stores remaining open on Thanksgiving, and 60 percent said they would not go as far as to step foot in a store on that day. Some retailers began opening earlier in 2014, switching from 12 a.m. on Friday to 8 p.m on Thanksgiving Day. As time went on, other retailers felt pressure from their competition and thought they had to open early as well to stay in the game.
Some say that this trend will die fairly quickly. Stephen Lebovitz, the CEO of CBL Properties, stated, “I think people jumped on the bandwagon for a few years there.” He continued, saying, “Now I think they’re going to back in the other direction and realize that’s not worth it.” However, Prof. Tom Arnold, who specializes in retail at the University of Richmond, sees things differently. “I suspect it’s going to take over Thanksgiving eventually, just because customers seem to be available. So why not be open?” Arnold thinks that as long as shoppers want to make purchases on Thanksgiving, there will be stores to accommodate them, whether it be online or in person. Whether Black Friday dies down or instead becomes the status quo in years to come, we have no choice but to wait and find out.