Jennifer Bass opens the door for a Kohl’s employee,
as she and her mom were still the first in line at
1:00 a.m. at the north Raleigh, North Carolina store,
Friday, November 26, 2010.
Shawn Rocco/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT
While many families are preparing for their Thanksgiving feast, some people are looking forward to what happens after the feast: Black Friday. Some people love it and others hate it.
For some shoppers, the day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, is a day that offers great deals on gifts and merchandise.
For some employees, Black Friday can be a nightmare.
Adrian Gonzales, a Fresno State biology student and a Fresno Target employee, is scheduled to work from midnight to 5 a.m. on Black Friday. He isn’t happy about it.
“It’s not fair to the employees,” Gonzales said. “People don’t think about it that way but I have to go to bed early on Thanksgiving so I can get up early for work and that’s less time I get to spend with my family.”
Retail stores like Best Buy, Target and Kohl’s will be opening at midnight on Thanksgiving this year. Other competitors are strategically planning to open on Thanksgiving.
Because many people purchase electronics on Black Friday, Best Buy will pass out tickets starting at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving to each person in line outside of the store before opening.
Walmart plans to open at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving while Toys R Us plans to open its doors at 9 p.m.
“I’m happy that stores are opening up earlier this year,” said Rosa Mota, a frequent Black Friday shopper. “I can’t always buy the gifts that I want at regular price so Black Friday allows me to purchase those gifts.”
While Black Friday does allow shoppers to purchase discounted items, violence has become an issue.
Black Friday shoppers are sometimes trampled by the large masses of people and often, fights can develop over sought-after items.
But Black Friday wasn’t always this way. The term Black Friday stuck because when retailers looked at accounting balance sheets in the past, black ink represented a profit.
The market research firm ShopperTrak found that since 2002, Black Friday has been the biggest shopping day of the year.
ShopperTrak also revealed that more than 200 million shoppers crowded stores last year, spending nearly $11 billion on Black Friday. The following Saturday, more than $6 billion found its way to retailers to close out the Black Friday weekend.
A Toys R Us employee who wishes to remain anonymous said that she wasn’t scheduled to work this Black Friday. However, she was scheduled last year and remembers the chaotic day.
“People were so crazy,” she said. “There were literally times that I was somewhat afraid that I might get hurt by accident because it was just so crowded.”
ShopperTrak predicts that this Black Friday will bring in less shoppers than in previous years.
ShopperTrak found that many tired shoppers shy away from stores. That means fewer crowds and good deals for shoppers who wait it out. Many Black Friday sales will still be in effect after the weekend, and retailers, eager to unload remaining merchandise, may further reduce prices to entice the fewer numbers of shoppers to take it home.”
The Toys R Us anonymous employee doesn’t know why stores are opening on Thanksgiving now instead of on Black Friday.
“We open at 9 o’clock on Thursday,” she said. “That’s just crazy. It’s not even Black Friday yet. I don’t think stores should be doing this because it’s really unfair. But in the end all they care about is the profit that Black Friday sales bring in.”