Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Black Friday...

One of our nation's seasonal customs is Black Friday, so named for the time when retailers finally go "in the black" for the year. It has become increasingly crazy as retailers have ramped up marketing intensity and stores have started opening earlier in increasingly frenzied attempts to woo shoppers.

It is therefore not too surprising that another of our nation's seasonal customs is talking about the seriously out-of-bounds behaviors observed in the midst of Black Friday shopping. This year's stories include pepper spray, guns, knives, looting, and muggings.

(For the record, a number of my friends went shopping on Good Friday this year, and not one of them was pepper-sprayed, shot, stabbed, or mugged. First, I'll say "Yay!" Second, I'll appreciate this as a reminder that the news stories about a handful of out-of-control shoppers are not representative of the majority.)

I read an article recently about the excesses of Black Friday, including some of the ways self-correction may be coming about, such as through online shopping. That makes all sorts of sense to me. "But on Saturday many shoppers said they still prefer buying a the big stores, despite the frenzy. [One] said she likes the time with her sisters and the hustle of the mall too much to stay home and just shop online."

Huh. I cannot fathom the thought of actively seeking out massive crowds of frenzied shoppers.

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