Monday, November 22, 2010

No Sale for Black Friday

Black Friday is a black mark on those who promote it.  Let me explain.

The Friday following Thanksgiving is a retail extravaganza that is the official start of the holiday shopping season. The term "black" applies here because stores hope to show profits following the spending spree.  Retailers hope to be "in the black."  The original meaning has conveniently been set aside.  

At first Black Friday denoted the financial crisis of 1869 and then the term was given by law enforcement to the shopping day after Thanksgiving because of the traffic snarls and large crowds.  

There remains nothing good about Black Friday.

Does opening at midnight make any sense at all? Some retailers will even open on Thanksgiving Day.  
Obviously Thanksgiving is irrelevant as a holiday.  Perhaps we should ask Congress to abolish it. The retailers move from Halloween directly to Christmas anyway.  We can't blame them.  In fact, we encourage it.  Nothing is more important than a dollar and being thankful does not contribute to the bottom line.  Thanksgiving is just another day off.  So let's keep the day off but we'll call it Black Thursday and make it a national day of uncontrolled spending. 
Seriously, what I thought of first when I saw that Carson's would open at 3 AM was the employees.  Black Friday means those who work in the stores cannot enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.  The Target or Best Buy worker has no time for a big meal with family and friends.  No time for chatting or watching football or doing anything that resembles a holiday celebration.  No chance to be thankful. 

Come on, you CEOs of Wal-Mart, Bon-Ton, and all the others.  Are you up at 3 AM and in the stores?  Did you give up Thanksgiving with your families to work?  I'll bet not.

So have your early morning Black Friday deals - online - and open your stores at a reasonable hour.  Happy, well-rested associates make fewer mistakes and better sales.  Stop the mania and we might all get through the day without anyone being injured or killed.  

I dare you to bring sanity back to the holiday shopping season.