Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Black Friday is getting earlier and earlier...

For folks not living in the United States, Black Friday is the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving. In spite of its name, it's considered a good thing. The day after Thanksgiving is the traditional start to the U.S. Christmas buying season. Stores started offering deep discounts on some items as loss leaders.

It's called Black Friday because for many stores it's the day, or the start of the period, where they make enough money to break even or make a profit.

(In recent years Black Friday is followed by Cyber Monday, the first day back at work when people had access to a good broadband connection and could order Christmas presents online.)

This is a uniquely American experience. Canada's Thanksgiving is a month and a half earlier (because Canadian harvests are brought in earlier) and so Canada doesn't have the same starter pistol-like start to Christmas buying. Canada makes up for it with Boxing Day sales, but that's another story.

Stores began opening their doors earlier and earlier. That's the point of this post.

When I first moved down here, I'd never actually participated in the craziness that is Black Friday. My first was in 2004. There was a bunch of good stuff to be had at Target. The night before I said something like, "So, we'll get up around 7 or so, get dressed, and go out to the store?" Alana just chuckled. "We have to be there for them opening. At 6 a.m."

I have to admit, it was fun. Tons of people in the early, early morning, after only a little bit of sleep, the air pretty chilly (at least for Louisiana). There was a charge in the air. We enjoyed it. I think Alana most enjoys the culture shock look on my face.

Now I get to the point of this post.

Monday night we were watching TV, and one store mentioned opening at 6 a.m. on Black Friday. That's, like, the traditional opening time. It's not the earliest. A bunch of stores open at 5 a.m. Then, Kohl's, the department store, ran an ad explaining that they are opening at 4 a.m. I turned to Alana with a WTF look on my face. "What's next, Black Friday on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving?"

I was joking. I shouldn't have.

K-Mart is opening on Thanksgiving Day. Black Friday on the Thursday of Thanksgiving.

And then today I received an e-mail from Borders. They are offering "early bird" access to their Black Friday sales to Borders Rewards members. Their sales start... today. Black Friday on the Wednesday.

I wonder how long it will take them until they take a page from Stupid Canadian Retailing and convert "Boxing Week" [sic] sales into "Black Friday Week". You heard it here, first!

Are we going to brave the elements, and the crazy people, Friday morning?

We're not sure. We haven't done it in a couple of years. Two years ago we were moving into the apartment. We went out shopping around 9. Last year there really wasn't anything worth getting.

This year's early ads don't really inspire much hope, either, though there are a couple of tempting items for Logan. One's at Wal-Mart, which we really don't want to go to on Black Friday. However, I understand that we might be able to get it at without having to rush out to that horrid place.

I didn't see much at Best Buy that grabbed me. Target had a couple of things, but nothing really "Wow!". Office Depot has a couple of things, but nothing that screams "5 a.m.".

I'll post an update later.

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