Black Friday is a day for shoppers to find good deals on thousands of products, but it faces two burgeoning problems. It is infringing on Thanksgiving and it is potentially dangerous.
INFRINGING ON THANKSGIVING
At least two petitions are being circulated that call for retailers to pull back sales on Thanksgiving Day.
“A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation - all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night’s rest on Thanksgiving!” wrote Rick Melargni, a Best Buy worker who started a petition on Change.org to change the store’s Black Friday opening to 5 a.m. Friday.
A number of retailers, including Target, Best Buy and Walmart are opening on Thanksgiving Day for the first time this year. Retailers are hoping that shoppers who have lined up outside stores in anticipation of previous Black Friday openings, will appreciate the earlier opening hours.
According to a study released this week by ConsumerSearch.com, 87 percent of consumers think retailers should stay closed on Thanksgiving.
Those against the petitions say that workers should just be thankful to have a job and that people have worked on Thanksgiving Day for as long as the holiday has existed.
A second peril shoppers must face on Black Friday is the danger posed by throngs of people reckless in their desires to get to items on their shopping lists before supplies run out.
In 2008, a female Walmart employee was killed under the feet of a wild crowd, as consumers rushed blindly toward savings.
Though that death was the first reported fatality related to Black Friday, numerous incidents of violence, rage and threats are increasing.
The solution to Black Friday’s danger for retailers is to have a full, capable staff ready to handle any situation. For shoppers, it’s best to have a plan, stay calm and think about doing some shopping online. Going later in the day also would help reduce crowds.