Black Friday arrives in three days, and I have two words of advice to you: Sleep In.
Why? Because Seth Coleman has a point. In case you don’t know who he is, he’s the Target employee who started an online petition that garnered almost 200,000 signatures, asking the company to abandon its plans to open at midnight on Black Friday…so that he, and other Target employees could spend Thanksgiving with their families and get a decent night’s sleep.
Yes folks, Black Friday has officially gotten out of hand. It was crazy enough when stores were opening at 6.00a, but now, with everyone not wanting to lose sales to their competitors, everyone is opening earlier and earlier, and employees are getting less and less sleep…or time with their families.
I know about this first-hand, because my wife is a nurse…on the night shift, no less. She often has to work at 11.00p on Thanksgiving. But she performs an essential service. Hospitals need to be open 24/7. I’m not so sure that Target, and WalMart, fill that essential a need.
The retailers in general figure that the earlier they open, the more money we’ll spend with them this holiday season. It sort of reminds me of FDR’s attempt to move Thanksgiving forward a week back in 1939 in order to add an extra week to the shopping season, and help the economy. But the retailers and FDR seem to have forgotten one very important thing…I’m going to spend the exact same amount of money, whether I do it in four weeks or five, whether I start shopping at midnight or later on at 9.00. Giving me more hours to do my shopping in is not going to make me spend more money.
The retailers also say that they’re opening earlier because we want them to. But do we really? Or is there some sort of chicken/egg thing going on here? Do they open at those ungodly hours because we want them to, or do we go out at those hours because they’re open…and they’re lured us there with special sales?
I’ll admit to having participated in the early morning Black Friday madness twice. But I’m from New Jersey, and Black Friday here looks like a regular shopping day in Passaic County. And I went only because there was a particular item I wanted that was on sale at a great price, and that I wanted to be sure I got. But once I got those particular objects, I didn’t spend any more money in that store than I had originally planned, and then went home and back to bed.
Let’s face it, except for the few “doorbusters” they advertise in order to entice you in before the rooster is even thinking of getting up, everything they’re selling will still be there at 9.00a…on Saturday.
Quite frankly, I think we’d all be happier with the extra sleep, but we’re afraid that we’ll miss a great bargain, and they’re afraid that they’ll lose business if we’re not up before the sun rises.
So, I don’t know about you, but this year, on Black Friday, I’m sleeping in. Not only that, but except for the things I’ve already bought or ordered, I’m not going to do any Christmas shopping this year until Saturday.
Will you join me?