Give thanks before hitting the mall


Shoppers crowd every inch of a store while searching top to bottom for the best deals and perfect Christmas gifts. (Photo Credit: Creative Commons Flickr)

Fatigue tells you to leave and go to bed, but the sales tell you to stay and shop. You decide to listen to the sales as you elbow through crowds of excited shoppers and stumble over items thrown about the store. After searching through piles of clothing and finally finding the perfect sweater, you march to the register. One glance at the line, however, and you know that it will be another hour until you reach check-out. Is it all worth it?

Black Friday serves multiple meanings to different people. Some anxiously prepare for this day and swear by the sales, while others simply look at it as the day after Thanksgiving. Whether you go to hit the sales or simply for the thrill of shopping on Black Friday, visiting the shops on this day is a long-awaited tradition for many shoppers.

“I think it’s fun to go and just have a good time with your friends,” said sophomore Ainsley Ramirez. “There are some really good deals, and I’m going out with my friends again this year.”

There are plenty of deals on Black Friday, but most people do not know that the chances of receiving a good deal for a quality item are very slim because Black Friday is mainly designed for retailers to clear out unwanted goods, according to the New York Times. This does not deter hopeful shoppers though, including Mercy girls.

“I like going to Somerset Mall in Troy to shop because it’s easy to access multiple stores in a short period of time,” said junior Maggie Ewald.

Along with Somerset Mall, Twelve Oaks Mall and Laurel Park Mall are other popular places of interest on Black Friday. Each mall contains stores with a multitude of items on sale, such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, or Carson’s, that attract shoppers of all ages starting from 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving day up to the very end of Black Friday.

In the past few years, stores have been opening earlier and earlier for the long-awaited Black Friday shopping. In the early 2000s, stores opened their doors around 6 a.m. on Friday, but it has crept up to as early as 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving day for some shops like JCPenney, RadioShack, and Best Buy. This draws both shoppers and employees away from their family and Thanksgiving festivities. The meaning of Thanksgiving is lost in today’s world regarding Black Friday because the stores now try to compensate for shoppers and keep up with the competition by opening so early. Employees have started protesting the opening times, as they are being pulled away from their families to work on this day, which also includes extra cleaning, restocking, and crowd control.

“Black Friday can be a joke in the sense that people act so crazy over something as simple as clothing and go way overboard,” said Ramirez.

Fights among shoppers over store items and fights between shoppers and employees have sometimes occurred. Breaking up fights and handling rude comments and complaints have become part of the job for retailers on Black Friday.

While it can be thrilling to shop on this day, the deals should wait until after Thanksgiving dinner.