The day after Thanksgiving, more commonly known, as Black Friday has become such a part of American culture that it almost seems to be a holiday itself. Huge retailers such as Macy’s, Toys ‘R Us, and Best Buy dedicate a large piece of their marketing to advertising their door buster sales and deals for the most wanted products of the year.
Shoppers are known to camp out, push through the aisles, fight for merchandise, and walk out with holiday gifts, and money saved.
Store hours are modified for the day, and employees experience a day of work that is anything but normal. Rosario Pucci, a senior, works as a specialist at the Apple Store in The Grove plaza located on Route 35 in Shrewsbury. “I worked almost 20 hours on Black Friday,” said Pucci.
“The doors opened at 11:00 Thanksgiving night, and what you would imagine the Apple Store to look like on Black Friday, times that by one thousand,” said Pucci on “the shift from hell.” People everywhere, with a million questions, demanding to be assisted by short-staffed consultants.
“Apple slashed prices for years hottest items like the iPad 2 and MacBook Air,” said Pucci. “When a product is in that high of a demand for a lower than usual price, people don’t see camping out as that bad of an idea,” said Pucci.
According to 9to5mac.com, a website dedicated to apple intelligence, “Apple Store discounts are extremely rare and with more stores open than ever before, the temptation was too much for many.” Apple reportedly had its biggest sales day of all time, according to 9to5mac.com and a source inside Apple corporate.
Reports from the Market Watch section of the Wall Street Journal stated that according to the National Retail Federation, sales for the four days since Thanksgiving increased by 16.4 percent, according to a survey consisting of 3,826 people. The retail trade group estimated that consumers spent an average of $398.62 on Black Friday weekend, a 9.1 percent increase from last year, and of that, $150.53 came from online sales.
An even newer phenomenon, known as “Cyber Monday,” offers consumers deals online even after the sales in stores have concluded. People who cannot, or chose not to go out on Black Friday can shop online, avoid the madness, and still receive discounts.
“Shopping online makes much more sense than to wait online in the cold for something you can order from your bed,” said Chelsea Grasso, an Education Major and sales associate at Abercrombie & Fitch in the Monmouth Mall.
“It was funny to see the mall in such shambles,” said Grasso. She recalled looking out the store window on her Black Friday shift, seeing mobs of people running in and out of stores frantically searching for the best deals.
“People don’t realize sales last all weekend. They go crazy on this one day of the year, when they can actually shop semi-normally and still save money,” said Grasso.
Macy’s advertised their Black Friday morning specials on Friday from 4:00 am to 1:00 pm and 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday. Specials also offered promotional codes to receive extra discounts and free shipping off purchases made online.
“Black Friday is all about the hype,” said Nicholas Auriemma, a sophomore. “Taking 40 percent of men’s dress shirts and jackets isn’t going to make me want to run to the mall at four in the morning to get things that I don’t even really need.”
Professor John Buzza of the Business department, commented on Black Friday by stating “the event is all wrapped up in creating a false sense of demand, a well initiated lack of supply and a very heavy dose of sensationalism. We all want what we can’t have … but if we wait until next week, we can!”
Black Friday, whether you chose to part take in it, or protest everything it stands for, means one thing for sure, the holidays are quickly approaching, and before you know it, they’ll be over.