Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is Thanksgiving just a Retail Holiday?

Contributer: Katie Avra
For many, this time of year is about family, good food, and warm memories. For others, November 24th is a green light to the approaching holiday shopping season. Before the leftovers have cooled, these Black Friday shoppers are out the door in search of the best Black Friday deals. The day's name originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving (Wikipedia, 2011). Since its origin in 1966, Black Friday has become a holiday in its own right. It takes place the day after Thanksgiving and marks for many Americans, an anxiously awaited retail marathon.

Not being a Black Friday shopper, I wanted to find out about all the hype. If you Google search “Black Friday,” as I did, you will find numerous websites solely dedicated to this retail extravaganza. If shopping was a competitive sport than Black Friday would be its “Super Bowl.”

The Black Friday websites cater to the MVPs of shopping. The sites offer scanned copies of shopping ads for nearly all stores participating nationally. Many stores are closed Thanksgiving, like Best Buy and Target, but open at midnight on Black Friday cutting retail employees’ holiday short. This year some stores such as Toys ‘R’ Us and Wal-Mart will be opening at 10pm on Thanksgiving Day. Some stores have time limits on their sales, specials, or “door busters” that end at noon or midnight on Saturday. Stores are also advertising deals all this week campaigning for pre-Black Friday sales.

Check out the websites below for more information on Black Friday and getting the best deals:
Shopping and sales information:
o   www.theblackfriday.com
o   www.blackfriday2011.com
o   www.blackfriday.info

Tips for getting bargains: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/45385396#45385396

Consumer Report’s “Naughty or Nice List” of retailers and their return policies: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/45384317#null

Want to still participate in the shopping madness but you’re not into the crowds, parking nightmares, or fighting it get the best deal? Try Cyber Monday; it is the online alternative to Black Friday in-store shopping. Cyber Monday takes place the Monday after Thanksgiving and this year it is on Monday Nov. 28th . You can have great deals with the convenience of staying home!

Here are a few Cyber Monday websites:
·         www.dealscybermonday.org
·         www.cybermonday.biz
·         www.cybermonday.org

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