Black Friday is a marketing gimmick to get consumers out to the store to spend their hard-earned cash on a bunch of shit that they and their loved ones don’t need. It’s evil. And it’s incredibly effective.
This past Friday a number of major retailers – including Kohl’s, Best Buy, Target, and Macy’s – all decided that they were going to push their open times to midnight. A few retailers – Toys R Us and Sears – took it a step further and decided to open at 9 PM on Thanksgiving night. WalMart opened at 10 PM. An entire mall by my in-laws opened at 9 PM on Thanksgiving. Madness!!
The masses liked it though, apparently. Black Friday sales rose 6.6% to the highest mark EVER – with a reported $11.4 billion being spent in one day.
The Race to the Bottom
Yes, the precedent has now been set for all retailers to open their doors at 9 PM or midnight on Thanksgiving (now there’s even Black Thanksgiving!) – ironically, the national holiday that is supposed to be about getting together with loved ones and giving thanks for what you have in life.
As if recent Black Friday mob tramplings, lootings, and pepper sprayings weren’t enough of a race to the bottom for consumers, retailers have now raised the bar even higher. Who cares that they may be separating their employees from their families on a holiday? We can all benefit by getting 30% off a pair of shoes that were overpriced by 25%!
I’ve never been a fan of Black Friday and have not participated in years. I find shopping to be flat out exhausting on its own. Add in thousands of zombie-like shoppers to the mix, no parking spots, gimmicky sales on artificially marked-up items, and depleted inventories, and it’s downright hell to me.
The ethics behind this move by big box retailers has sealed the deal that you will never find me shopping on Black Friday again.
Consumers Feed the Corporate Greed Machine
In taking the bait to go shopping at 9 PM in Thanksgiving, you support the cultural race to the bottom that prioritizes shopping over family. And in doing so, you take those workers away from their families on a holiday. What’s next, a 9 AM Thanksgiving morning open? Why not just replace Thanksgiving with Black Thursday?
Nope. Not doing it. And to send a big “Screw you!” message to the retailers who subscribe to this madness, I decided to put together a list of miserable, yet common evils that we would all rather put off but could be doing that would be better than shopping at your store on Black Friday (or any time).
25 Awful Things that are Still Better than Shopping at a Big Box Retailer Store on Black Friday
- I’d rather clean out that gunk that gathers underneath and behind a refrigerator than shop at your store.
- I’d rather give my fully clawed psychotic cat who hates water a bath than shop at your store.
- I’d rather go to an awkward holiday party and make small talk with people I don’t know and will never talk to again than shop at your store.
- I’d rather listen to a Justin Bieber album than shop at your store.
- I’d rather watch a romantic movie with my wife than shop at your store.
- I’d rather de-frost a freezer than shop at your store.
- I’d rather pull 36 beer bottles that weren’t properly rinsed from a plastic garbage bag to recycle than shop at your store.
- I’d rather get a planter’s wart burned off than shop at your store.
- I’d rather ask my neighbor for salt than shop at your store.
- I’d rather go to the DMV and wait in line for an hour than shop at your store.
- I’d rather get solicited by a Jehovah’s Witness than shop at your store.
- I’d rather clean out the mucky leaf piles that have gathered in my gutters than shop at your store.
- I’d rather get a cavity filled than shop at your store.
- I’d rather get a flu shot than shop at your store.
- I’d rather eat two pounds of meatloaf and suffer the after-effects than shop at your store. (I’m vegetarian)
- I’d rather have my annual performance review than shop at your store.
- I’d rather given a co-worker feedback for their performance review than shop at your store.
- I’d rather scrape off that unidentified, burned-to-hell lump of food at the bottom of my oven than shop at your store.
- I’d rather collect my dog’s poop from the backyard after 2 months of neglecting to do so than shop at your store.
- I’d rather watch Friend’s re-runs than shop at your store.
- I’d rather read a newspaper that has been soaking in the rain for hours than shop at your store.
- I’d rather unclog a toilet than shop at your store.
- I’d rather fill out a medical history form for the 20th time while waiting in a doctor office waiting room than shop at your store.
- I’d rather have a flat tire than shop at your store.
- I’d rather negotiate with Comcast than shop at your store.
OK…. maybe not the last one…
The point being… if you’d rather do these miserable things, then imagine the thousands of fun or enjoyable things you could be doing than supporting these big box retailers.
Why let the fun stop here? What awful things would you rather do than shop on Black Friday? Share your list in the comments and forward to your friends so they can share theirs! Let’s send the message to retail execs that we won’t participate in feeding the consumer disease that plagues our country.
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