Is Black Friday Worth It?

In a world of capitalism, this ‘holiday’ take away from the true meaning of the holiday season

Bargain hunters swarm the entrance to a store before it opens for Black Friday shopping. Photo courtesy of timeline.con

Black Friday has been a tradition in America for decades. It is the day after Thanksgiving in which most stores participate in widespread sales. However, many people have become disillusioned regarding Black Friday. The day of sales used to be reserved for the third Friday in November, yet it has recently taken over Thanksgiving, as well. Stores are now opening on Thanksgiving night.

This year, sales have debuted as early as the week prior to Thanksgiving in stores like Target, Walmart, and Kohl’s. Many people feel like the earlier start to deals makes them less effective- where shoppers might get 60% off for Friday only, they now get 40% off for the week. Is Black Friday on its way out?

The benefits to Black Friday sales are few and far between. While it may boost sales over the weekend, it is still not the biggest sale day of the year. According to Quartz, that day falls right before Christmas. Furthermore, companies are forced to pay their employees extra on Thanksgiving and Black Friday so that consumers can shop at their stores, sometimes just that one time, to buy a few items at a discounted price.

Quartz also claims that “profit margins for retailers that go all-in versus those who are more conservative about it.” Not only are the profits outweighed by the cost of keeping the store open and paying their employees time and a half, but “as much as 50% of promotional products are returned,” according to Melanie Luff.

InfoSurv Research has come up with 13 reasons to say no to Black Friday. The site points out that many stores offer the same deals online as they do in-store, so consumers might as well stay home and enjoy family time and just shop online. This could prevent violent outbreaks (trampling, injuries, pepper spraying, etc.) as shoppers fight over limited items and rush to get into stores– especially since stores will likely have limited capacity due to COVID-19.

Speaking of which, being exposed to big crowds this time of year, considering COVID, the flu, and cold season, is likely at least slightly dangerous. Also, driving all over town to find the best deals is simply a waste of gas, and with gas prices rising, this could be very costly.

Overall, the act of physically going to a store- forcing retailers to keep stores open over a holiday weekend and forcing employees to work over that weekend- is simply not necessary anymore. Online shopping is a great alternative and features the same deals as in-store shopping. It seems that we should do away with the tradition of Black Friday and, instead, focus on the true value of thanksgiving- reflecting on what we are thankful for and spending time with our families.

Author: Dina Usanovic

I am an English and Political Science major at CSU in my third year at the university. I love writing for the Cauldron and I'm so excited to bring student opinions to the forefront of university news!