It’s a jungle out there

Why millions crave to save on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even Thanksgiving

Known as one of the most hectic and controversial days of the year, Black Friday is making its mark with some changes. Being a day to score the supposedly best deals on gifts for the holidays, this day has become a roaring utopia for bargain shoppers. Branching off into Cyber Monday and, for some stores, Thanksgiving Day sales, people are torn between ditching their family gatherings or not going out at all.

In the past, stores like Walmart, Kmart, and Macy’s were open on Thanksgiving, some as early as six a.m. For this year’s early Black Friday sales, 37 stores and counting will be open. Though some unlock their doors later in the day, around five to six p.m., stores like Reeds Jewelers open at 12 a.m., and more popular businesses such as Best Buy, Toys-R-Us and Target have yet to announce their Thanksgiving Day store hours.

“Although stores being open is pretty inconvenient for workers,” junior Krystal Shock said. “I think shopping on Thanksgiving is a fun thing you can do with your family if maybe you’ve finished dinner early or are just looking to pass time.”

For others, they view the idea of retailers not allowing their employees the holiday off as ridiculous and extremely unfair.
“Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays just because it’s a celebration of everything your thankful for,” principal Tom Lietz said. “The idea of people not being able to spend time with their families because other people want to get good deals on a cheap TV sickens my soul.”

Whether being open on a holiday or later in the week, are Black Friday sales even worth it? When it comes to the ‘limited time only’ deals that invade every shop window and commercial air ways, most are just a hoax. According to CNNMoney, most of the products sold on Black Friday are specially made for the sales rack at stores. For example, retailers will have a tech item, like a laptop, made specifically for this day; the product, although riddled with money saving offers, is of low quality.

“[A] study analyzed 27 Black Friday advertisements, and found that 25 retailers listed at least one product for the same price in 2014 as in 2013,” CNN reported. “Office Depot, for example, offered the same wireless laser printer this year and last year, at the same $349.97 price point. Target, Walgreens, and PetSmart also made the list of repeat offenders.”

Despite the many people who crave to save, a large portion of people don’t go Black Friday shopping because of the craziness that surrounds the “holiday”.

“I’ve never go Black Friday shopping,” economics teacher Steve Schaefer said. “I can see how some people, including some of my students, like spending the day shopping with their mom’s or whoever, but I personally would rather avoid getting trampled by psychotic shoppers.”

Black Friday hasn’t had it easy recently. All of the stories about cheap scams and brutal behaviors of companies and shoppers has made it harder to justify the already controversial day, casting a dark shadow over it all.

“One year I got trampled by all the people and was pushed into a crate,” sophomore Remares Bell said. “It’s nice because people get to buy stuff for cheap, but I personally do not like Black Friday.”

REI, a popular outdoor gear and equipment store, has shined some light on the shadow by making the ultimate decision to close their doors on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Jerry Stritzke, the companies CEO and President, along with others, want to allow their employees to enjoy the post-holiday festivities.

“I like that they are expressing their company’s values in terms of allowing their employees to take that day off,” Schaefer said, “but I think when it comes to in-store business, they’ll hurt a little. They still have online sales, so customers aren’t losing out on too much; their essential putting their money where their mouth is.”

REI and places with similar ethics want to allow their workers to be able to spend time with family and friends during the holidays, which many others do not have the luxury of doing.

“Someone I once knew was told he couldn’t go on a family vacation because he had to work on Black Friday. They gave him the choice: go on vacation and quit your job or work and skip it,” Lietz said. “People are beginning to take the wrong things for value. We should be more worried about spending time with the people we care about.”

Even among all of this negative attention, there are still those who enjoy Black Friday and tag along every year.

“I’ve been going Black Friday shopping for about five years now,” sophomore Evan Zack said. “I usually go to Abercrombie or Hollister, and I tend to always have a good experience considering I get a lot of things I like and have wanted beforehand.”
When it comes to figuring out where to spend your money and which places have the best savings, it might be best to go to stores that not only celebrate Black Friday, but suit your own style and interests.

“On Black Friday, I always shop at Lakeside or Partridge,” senior Caylie Conwell said. “Out of all the stores I shop at, I usually go to Victoria’s Secret the most.”

Regardless of all of the news stories about the hectic behavior of shoppers, people still want to be able to experience everything that involves massive savings.

“I’ve never gone before, but I’d really like to,” senior Esmeralda Ferrara said. “I really don’t see anything wrong with it since it only happens once a year, so why not go out with friends or family and enjoy a day of shopping.”

If you are someone who does not particularly like going out into big crowds to score that Elsa doll your little sister has been bugging you to get her, Cyber Monday might be the way to go. With equally awesome savings, it takes place the Monday following Black Friday.

“I just recently heard about Cyber Monday,” junior Hannah Choe said. “It seems like a great way to get some shopping done while I just sit in bed and relax.”

With all the hype built around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s best to keep an eye out for sales stores will promote.
“I just hope people will be able to enjoy and take everything in that the holidays have to offer,” Shock said. “Hopefully everyone will be able to enjoy Black Friday and still stay safe while doing so, which is exactly how I plan to spend it.”