Does Black Friday Take Away From Thanksgiving Celebrations?

Known for gratitude, turkeys, and mouthwatering dishes, Thanksgiving is a holiday which traditionally holds a spot at the dinner table. But while some feast upon pumpkin pie, others indulge in delectable discounts.

While Black Friday was originally restricted to the day directly after Thanksgiving, each year businesses have nudged it earlier and earlier.

On November 26, Thanksgiving Day, many stores will open their doors just as families are sitting around the dinner table. Out of the stores who have already announced their opening time, Michaels takes the lead, unlocking its doors as early as 4p.m. on Thursday night.

As crowds of people leave their homes to wait outside these establishments, junior Sophia Reinero and her family turn toward the opposite direction, taking care to avoid colliding with hungry shoppers.

“We make sure everything is stocked, especially if we go out of town,” Reinero said. “That way we don’t have to deal with people trying to squeeze passed (us) for all the discounts.”

Black Friday has a reputation for turning those recently satisfied by a fulfilling Thanksgiving dinner into hungry consumers. According to the WSAZ News Channel, a man from West Virginia was trampled over by Target customers and later found dead in the store during Black Friday of 2011.

Fear of being brutally injured is what prevents many potential shoppers from leaving the safety of their homes.

“It scares me,” junior Kaley Dover said. “I don’t want to get trampled. That’s why … you don’t go when it opens. You go three hours after.”

But besides avoiding early hours, there are other ways to evade the chaos of Black Friday. Many buyers have converted to shopping online, delaying their purchases until Cyber Monday.

Nevertheless, the focus remains on obtaining goods that are not yet in the buyer’s possession.

While Thanksgiving is a day intended for sharing gratitude, Reinero said Black Friday insinuates individuals are not thankful for what they already have.

“Materialism rules that day because it’s not just people going after food or necessities,” Reinero said. “They’re going after new phones, game consoles – all kinds of just random stuff.”

Businesses such as Target and Walmart will extend their store hours beyond Friday. Employees and managers will be assisting customers on Thanksgiving Day.

“It’s kind of their choice,” senior Lison Lemoine said. “It’s either business or family dinner.”

According to Lemoine, only a few select businesses need to be available to customers on Thursday. She said families who are picking up last-minute turkeys or other Thanksgiving dishes may want to make a quick stop at the grocery store.

“Otherwise, I don’t think (businesses) should be open,” Lemoine said. “They should enjoy their day off.”

But gaining maximum profit is also an issue companies are concerned about. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, on Black Friday consumers spent an average of $423 per person in 2012, $407.23 per person in 2013 and $380.95 per person in 2014.

“(Black Friday) boosts the economy,” Dover said. “But given that most of the stores that are competing are the megagiants that they are, that doesn’t actually benefit society.”

Published on Friday, November 13, 2015

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