Kiser: Why Black Friday is No Longer Newsworthy
I won’t cover the Black Friday mad dash this year. That means I won’t be standing in line with several impatient people all waiting to score a “good deal” on a cheap TV.
Sure, I’ve spent many Black Fridays going out at midnight, standing at the front door of Potomac Mills mall as the bargain seekers fly in. I also witnessed a fight there one Black Friday morning as hordes tried to get into a shoe store that had not yet opened its retractable metal store gate.
What once started as an idea to generate buzz and get an early jump on Christmas sales has become routine, and frankly, that means it’s no longer news. We know people will camp in tents outside of big box electronics stores, and that long lines will form at shopping malls before the sun comes up. And, expanding on a trend started by Kmart in the late 1990s, many stores for a second and third year in a row will be open on Thanksgiving Day.
Some say it’s a great way to grab a bargain. Others wonder if anyone actually plans to spend any time with friends and family and do what you are supposed to do on this holiday – eat and give thanks. A friend of mine wondered if anyone standing in those lines will eat anything. “If they ate like I do, none of them would be able to walk around,” he quipped.
Let’s also not forget that opening retail stores early on Fridays, or on Thanksgiving for that matter, gives workers less time, if any, to spend with their loved ones. Sure, you can argue that those workers signed up for the requirements of the job, but it’s clear that our greed created those requirements.
So, enjoy your time on Thanksgiving doing whatever it is you plan to do. I’m writing this from a market inside a grocery store where I’ll pick up the remaining items we’ll need for our Thanksgiving feast. You won’t find me in a store tomorrow, and probably not on Friday either.