Beware the black-friday-frenzy that creates chaos for eager consumers who
would do anything to cash in on huge pre-christmas discounts and door crashing deals.
Yes, it really can get hectic out there folks, so be sure that what you hope
to save on an item you need desperately, is worth what you may have to
go through to get it.
As the holiday season fast approaches, you may be hearing about Black Friday
but aren’t quite sure what it is all about. If you are interested in
saving money and doing even better with your christmas budget, you may
want to mark this day on your calendar for the Friday after Thanksgiving
in the States.
The term “Black Friday” actually has been around for some time. It hasn’t
always been seen in the most positive context either.
As early as the 1860’s, “black friday” was associated with “financial crisis.”
During the 1960’s, the term was used by the Philadelphia Police Department,
and again, not in a positive sense, to mark the day after Thanksgiving as
a very heavy traffic day. The day after Thanksgiving signified the official
first day of the Christmas Holiday shopping season, which resulted in
traffic jams, congestion, mobbed stores, and a whole array of headaches for
the police and the general public. Sounds like a bit of a black-friday-frenzy to me.
Like it’s internet shopping counterpart “Cyber Monday”, reference is made
to Black Friday as being a high volume sales day.
“Black” refers to being
“in the black” as opposed to being in the “red” ink. Or, as merchants like
to think of it, a “profit making day made possible by bargain-hungry-consumers.
This is not an official holiday, but more of an unofficial November observance
that takes place right after Thanksgiving, always falling in between
November 23rd and November 29th.
Many people have the day off for this
event, and this certainly increases the potential for consumer traffic.
Preparations take place well in advance.
Stores are decorated very early
and heavily on Christmas items especially. Merchandise is discounted and
advertised to lure bargain-hungry-consumers to this annual black-friday-ritual
of spending. Some websites may leak pictures of ads and flyers prior to the
day of the sale, and this drives traffic to the stores as well.
Certain electronic gadgets and toys, which are highly sought-after christmas
gifts, are discounted to the tune of one-third or even fifty-percent off to attract and make sales.
People, giddy with excitement, are known to line up for hours beforehand to
get that special item they have been craving for so long.
especially the big box stores that are popular, will open at midnight on the
day of the sale, and stay open for 24 hours to accommodate the crowds that
have made this specific day a black-friday-ritual.
A black-friday-frenzy can indeed erupt resulting in fatal consequences.
A Walmart worker in November 2008, was actually trampled to death by customers
who broke through glass to beat the few minutes left before the store officially
opened. Human stampedes are not uncommon. I believe a pregnant woman was
trampled as well at some location, and subsequently miscarried.
Two people were murdered in California in a very popular toy store over a dispute
over an item. There are other instances of tragedies on this day, that actually
speaks volumes about human behaviour I think. Though, I can’t imagine that this behaviour is so out of control everywhere you go.
Saving money is a wonderful idea, and especially in these times and for getting
through the holiday season. However, you have to weigh the pros and cons.
Many people just won’t brave the crowds at the best of times, so they don’t feel
like they are missing anything, especially the black-friday-frenzy of over-crowded
Many businesses do make it worth the trip money-wise, and so the choice is yours
to make it a day to take advantage of in terms of savings.
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