Black Friday has been a seasonal tradition in our household to over 2 decades. [I still think it's pretty wild that I'm "old enough" to say decade, let alone over two decades, when I reference something from my past!]
But coming from my retail experience--I had to work every Friday after Thanksgiving for 9 years, because it was the hottest shopping day of the year. I didn't relish punching the time clock at 5am, or before...but that was then. Now I'm usually at the store of my choice by 5am, or before.
The stores are getting more aggressive with their sales' tactics. They know that with the economy in the tank--there's only a finite amount of money that's going to be spent this holiday season--and they are going to their rock bottom to persuade you to come to their store versus the competition. I've already blogged about what Wal-Mart is doing to earn your business...but there are other stores that are upping the ante for your saving and shopping pleasure.
As I was looking at the Black Friday ads at http://www.black-friday.net/, I saw something that caught my attention. Rite Aid is going to be open all day on Thanksgiving Day. Hmmm. That's cool. That's one of the stores that I frequent. And if I get the dinner prepped and ready to go on Wednesday...it got me thinking of all the great deals I can be getting on Thursday instead of in the crowded chaos of Friday. Ah.
Last year, our family had most of our great deals acquired before Black Friday. Internet sales and pre-Black Friday ads were stellar. I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing deals coming out early, this year, as well. It's all about competition and persuasion--and timing.
I'm pretty dedicated to saving the cash flow on my shopping excursions, but I've never been overwhelmed by the need to go all commando to score my great deals. I know people who really enjoy the thrill of the hunt--working the aisles with their walkie talkies and shopping lists, in the early morning of post-turkey day. I "get" that kind of mindset--but I shop like that all-year, rather than on the designated shopping NiGhTmArE day of the year. [I guess I'm not as cut-throat as some people are.] I sometimes think that the ungodly early morning sprees on Black Friday are all about the bumping and grinding at the stores' doors. I still feel guilt for bumping into people because I have no interest in the grinding through people to save $5--especially if I could save the same amount on a different day without the crowds!
But I am like the crazy shoppers when I actually find what I planned on getting still on the shelf. I have no guilt about taking the last item off the shelf when the crowds are turning into mosh pits...I just don't want to get hurt when Sally Shopper goes pSycho.]
Holiday shopping--even at 5am in the morning--is still exciting to me. I'm getting the things that I want to give in my seasonal tradition. And as the crowds line up for the fiscal fight of quantities versus customers, I still want to enjoy hearing holiday music on the speakers, eat donuts and juice at the front door, and feel the excitement of being "done" with buying for Christmas in November!