In recent years, Black Friday "doorbuster" sales have gotten nuttier and nuttier. Doors open at 5 am— no! 4 am! Flat screen TV's only 10 cents if you punch at least 3 store employees in the face! Now, some retailers are attempting to attract shoppers by starting their sales on Thanksgiving Day, a move that's being met with hostility by the super shoppers who are usually first in line on Friday morning. And they're not outraged for the reasons you'd think.
The New York Times reports that stores like Best Buy, Wal Mart, and Macy's are pushing their Black Friday sale openings to midnight on Thanksgiving. Some are even opening as early as 10 pm on Turkey Day.
To the surprise of retailers, uberconsumers are kind of pissed and have taken to shopping related internet message boards (these exist?!) to express their dismay. This is going to ruin Thanksgiving! In order to be the first people lined up outside of stores on November 25, they'll have to push themselves away from their pie festooned holiday tables surrounded by their loved ones earlier than they'd prefer in order to voluntarily get to a store in time to buy more crap for cheaper than everyone else. What kind of heartless monster would allow such a thing?
Not everyone's upset by the notion that their holidays will be interrupted by The Invisible Hand forcing them to minivan over to Target at 11:30 pm; some shoppers are upset that the great race for retailers to one-up each other is actually a great race for low paying employers to out-fuck their employees. One super shopper told the Times,
I just don't think that's good business, in a sense, to make your employees come in on one of the biggest holidays of the year and cut their family time short. With the economy the way it is, no one's going to say, ‘I'm not going to do that, I'm going to quit or get fired over it.'
The Times speculates that populist awareness-raising movements like Occupy Wall Street may be responsible for people showing empathy to their fellow man, but I'm more inclined to believe that this is like the part of How the Grinch Stole Christmas when the Grinch's small heart grows three sizes.
Retailers insist that their hands are tied, that they must open at the same time as their competitors or risk losing out on the ever-more-rare consumer dollar, but shoppers aren't convinced. Some say that stores' greed has inspired them to sit this year's crap buying stampede out.