I can’t imagine how this is all worth it. A mother threatening to shoot someone who cuts in line? At a Toys R’ Us store?
I should note I have not driven around on Black Friday/Saturday since the whole thing went nuclear many years ago - so I imagine crazy, cattle herd mentality at the stores and on the roads. That’s why I’m curious if there’s some kind of mystique involved to make the perceived insanity worthwhile.[/I]
People have little money, particularly in the current economic climate, but they do have time to wait for absurdly low prices. People get territorial about just about anything involving material goods. What’s to explain?
When I worked retail, one of our stores would see a fistfight break out during Back to School. I believe last year an employee was trampled to death at a Walmart? I’ll work retail again at Black Friday if I am allowed to mace all the customers.
Of course it’s that simple. For every overblown story of violence the media hypes up for Black Friday’s reports, there are ten thousand Black Friday sales in which nothing more confrontational than a dirty look occurs.
It’s the biggest sale day of the year. What’s to explain here?
It probably depends on the city and neighborhood too. I worked black friday at Target a few years back and while there was a lot of people and long lines it wasn’t really all that bad. People were patience and waited in line like normal even though the line was probably half a mile long since it went around half the store. They were actually courteous and understanding if there was a problem at the register instead of being overly aggressive and wanting to bash my head in.
Is Black Friday even a Canada thing? I would assume it’s only the United States because everybody has Thanksgiving off and then they go wait in line all night after dinner.
I worked Friday. It’s mostly just really good sales combined with the economic factors that Kiel outlined. People want the most for their dollar. I had people trying to haggle with me, and I work at a national chain.
People want cheap stuff. More so now than ever (Well, maybe since the Depression).
What boggles me are things like I read in our paper about these two women grabbing armloads of boots for $20 because they were normally $50 to $60. What?! I can totally understand buying stuff you intended to buy when they are discounted but impulse buying, buying multiples, just because “it’s a good deal” boggles my mind. I’ve got too much clutter in my life as it is. I think ultimately the compression of shopping into this hugely hyped day is a mistake – it becomes much more sensitive to disruption by weather and perhaps too much weight given to its results compared to the rest of the shopping season.
Black Friday shopping reminds me a lot of hunting. You wake up at some freakish hour on a day you really want to just sleep in, drive somewhere where you will do a lot of standing and doing nothing whilst freezing your ass off in the cold morning air, and then at the end of it all you might come back with something you wanted, and you might not.
My only real experience with it was when an ex-gf wanted to get a TV on sale at Circuit City, but came out empty-handed because getting there at 4AM was just too late.
So yeah, even aside from the rare instances of violence/injury, I don’t quite get the phenomenon either.
For the buyer: big discounts on big ticket and popular items if you can put up with the rush.
For the seller: loss-leading big ticket/popular items dramatically increase number of customers who purchase high-profit items such as impulse buys. Some retailers do upwards of 3% of annual gross revenue on black Friday alone. Over the weekend, it can by 6-7%.