Black Friday shopping on Thursday?

Published 8:54am Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Shopping on Black Friday is an annual tradition for me and my friends. After spending the day gathered with our families, we would meet late on Thursday night to strategically plan our assault.

We would gather in my living room floor, scatter sales inserts and devise a plan so efficient and so well-executed that it was envied by many in the tri-county area. We had the same plan this year until Walmart announced opening earlier on Thanksgiving Day.

Of course, once the “king of retail” made the decision then Target and others quickly followed. Kmart has been open on Thanksgiving Day for years.

Honestly, I flinched a little at the thought of these massive retailers homing in on Thanksgiving but not so much that I planned to boycott. I realized that the retailers would be open but didn’t realize the “deals” they were offering would begin at six that night.

Suddenly my friends and I were attempting to juggle a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving while also wanting to continue our Black Friday tradition we enjoyed so much. Thanksgiving felt rushed.

While some enjoy Thanksgiving dinner others enjoy Thanksgiving supper – we enjoy both.  We decided early on that we wouldn’t participate until after the 6 p.m. sales started but we were accustomed to the stores not opening until midnight. That left plenty of time for us to enjoy our families, take a nap and then devise our plan. That was not the case this year.

We set out around 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. The tradition we enjoyed for so many years suddenly felt strange and off. The excitement was gone. The rush was gone.

The staggered times and staggered sales made the whole experience seem almost boring and planning was nearly impossible. We were exhausted. We visited a few stores but mainly we just walked around aimlessly. These stores did not monetarily benefit from my group as they had in the past.

Our tradition will change going forward. I’m not sure how but it may not include Black Friday shopping at all. It wasn’t fun anymore.

The time we spent on Black Friday was never completely about spending money or buying gifts, it was more about spending time with my best friends. And what better way to spend time with your girlfriends than indulging in retail therapy? It’s just not worth rushing a holiday we all cherish so much.


Shannon Elliott is general manager of the Elmore County newspapers of Tallapoosa Publishers Inc. Contact her at 334-567-7811. 

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