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Black Friday 2013 less chaotic than usual


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#1 of 5 annasophia

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Posted December 11 2013 - 12:59 AM

Black Friday is the traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season and retailers were concerned with it’s being a success, considering the late date of Thanksgiving this year. There are 6 fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than usual, which could make a big dent in retail sales. Thus, a good turnout on Black Friday could forecast a good shopping season.

Major stores opened their doors on Thanksgiving

So far, it seems retailers can breathe a sigh of relief. Many of them opened their doors a day early, with Walmart opening at 6 PM on Thanksgiving Day and many others opening at 8 PM. Macy’s broke a 155 year tradition by opening on Thanksgiving in order to tempt in those extra sales, and Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said, “Everything is just all good.” This year there were 15,000 people waiting outside the Herald Square store at 8 PM, on Thursday, a jump from the 11,000 who were waiting at midnight the year before. Other stores that opened on Thanksgiving included Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, Gap, Target, Old Navy, and Toys R Us.

Less frenzy felt during shopping

Many people noted a feeling of greater calmness and less chaos that has been the hallmark of Black Friday shopping in recent years. Alison Goodwin, of Pennsylvania, said she went shopping at the Willow Grove Park mall in Horsham on Friday and of the expected chaos and crowd size said, “It’s a lot less than I thought. . . . It’s like any weekend in December.”
Sandra Stephens of Baton Rouge said she didn’t feel nearly as harried as usual as she shopped leisurely through clothing retailer Anthropologie. “This is the first time in a few years I’ve gone out for Black Friday,” she said. “It’s a good feeling to get a head start on Christmas shopping, especially when it’s not too crazy, like it is here.”

Sales predicted to grow

This year, the National Retail Federation is predicting November and December sales “to be up 3.9% to $602 billion. . . . That’s higher than last year’s 3.5% growth, but below the 6% pace seen before the recession,” indicating that American spending is still in recovery mode.

Five years ago, the shopping hysteria was so intense that a Walmart employee in New York was trampled to death and two men shot each other at a Toys R Us in Palm Desert, California. This year was less lethal, though there were still scenes of violence, including a fight in a Rialto, California Walmart parking lot sparked by accusations of line-cutting and a fight in West Virginia where a man was slashed with a knife during an altercation over a parking spot.

Online shopping avoids all crowds

Another reason for the lower frenzy level is that many people have begun doing their Black Friday shopping online. One such store that offers crowd-avoidance online shopping is Jumpin Jammerz, an adult footed pajama retailer that provides comfy, stylish pajamas for the young-at-heart adults on your shopping list. IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark said that “online sales Thanksgiving Day were up 20 percent over last year.”

Source:
usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/29/black-friday-shopping-thanksgiving/3780379/

nbcnews.com/business/black-friday-begins-crowds-some-shopping-some-mayhem-2D11673314



#2 of 5 Aaron Silverman

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Posted December 11 2013 - 11:25 AM

IMO people are just generally less cranky at 8pm then they are after midnight.


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#3 of 5 Ejanss

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Posted December 11 2013 - 11:50 AM

I remember growing up when, quote-fingers, "Black Friday" didn't exist at ALL, let alone "Cyber Monday" or "Black Friday Week".  :rolleyes:

You had the day off after Thanksgiving, the local stations jumped into showing Christmas specials and "It's a Wonderful Life" with the kids home from school, and maybe it occurred to you to get in a "Christmas mood" by mall-crawling for present ideas and looking at the decorations...And finding out that everyone else had the exact same idea.

 

But then....1983.  The Cabbage Patch Kids.  Followed by ColecoVision, 1984 (who, btw, owned the CPK's).  And sentimental memories of Trivial Pursuit from 1982.

Suddenly, the media started getting disappointed if there wasn't a crazed, panicked, stampeding mob causing injuries, trampling, and other good-copy chaos at shopping malls, and started to predict in October "What will be this year's big Panic Buy?"  Apparently, such things were now being decided FOR us, for our commercial benefit, as "empty shelves" were at least some proof positive that merchandise was moving and people were at least throwing money at something.

Retail outlets even appear to be wistful about such things too, hoping for, quote, "Doorbuster" sales.  (Even when such things happen literally, at a few Midwest Wal-Mart's.)

 

And then, when people decide not to be "duped", stay home and search Amazon, we now have "Cyber Monday" trumpeted in the ads, as if it was the retailer's idea that we all had better things to do on Friday!

(I'll give Obama credit for Small Business Saturday, though.  A protest, yes, but a classy one.)


Edited by Ejanss, December 11 2013 - 11:53 AM.


#4 of 5 pickin_grinnin

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Posted December 11 2013 - 07:05 PM

I buy my Christmas gifts throughout the year, when I hit good sales.  I end up spending about 2/3 less that way than shopping on Black Friday and afterwards, even when you take Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals into account.



#5 of 5 BobO'Link

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Posted December 12 2013 - 11:39 AM

I remember growing up when, quote-fingers, "Black Friday" didn't exist at ALL, let alone "Cyber Monday" or "Black Friday Week".  :rolleyes:

You had the day off after Thanksgiving, the local stations jumped into showing Christmas specials and "It's a Wonderful Life" with the kids home from school, and maybe it occurred to you to get in a "Christmas mood" by mall-crawling for present ideas and looking at the decorations...And finding out that everyone else had the exact same idea.

When I was a kid you went out and purchased your Christmas Tree the day after Thanksgiving.  Yes, a live tree.  Artificial ones were those shiny chrome things you put a color wheel in front of so the tree would change colors every 10 seconds or so.  Christmas presents were either purchased in town or ordered from the Sears & Roebuck catalog.  We didn't know what a "Mall" was but a trip to the Sears store in downtown Memphis would be a high point of the shopping season (it was a hour or so drive) because you could actually *see* all the neat toys in the catalog and ride the escalators.  I don't ever recall anything being purchased during that trip (but you could make multiple purchases and pick them up in a central location, almost like ordering from the catalog with instant gratification - it's possible that was done while we kids were being distracted) but the stuff would be under the tree come Christmas Morning.






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