Retailers had a good thing going. But now, controversy has erupted over Black Friday sales beginning on Thursday.
Some die-hard Black Friday shoppers may need to modify their power-shopping strategies. I’ve only attempted the Black Friday ritual once or twice. So I asked Woodbury resident and traditional Black Friday shopper Holly Johnson to clue me in.
Holly has been a Black Friday shopper for over 20 years.
“It’s a fun tradition for my mom and me,” she says. “It’s just the two of us because shopping with too many people slows me down. I had to think about it when a friend asked if she could come along.” Holly laughs, then says, “One extra person might be OK.”
“I primarily shop for clothes and small electronics,” says Holly. “I’m not the type to stand in line for a cheap TV. But, I do like getting deals on small kitchen appliances and $1 DVDs.”
Holly and her mom used to get up early for those 5 a.m. store openings and shop all day. But last year, many of their favorite stores opened at midnight.
“We headed out at 11 p.m.,” she says. “The lines were ridiculous. At least 100 people deep. We shopped in Woodbury until around 3 a.m.. Then we went home to nap before heading to Rosedale Mall.”
I asked Holly about this year’s earlier store openings.
“I don’t know if I like it,” she says. “My family comes from Dallas for Thanksgiving. It’s a full day for us. Midnight wasn’t so bad. I could wrap up the house and get the kids to bed before going out for ‘me’ time. I don’t like the idea of leaving company behind to go shopping.
“And those poor employees. I come from a retail background and I love to shop. But earlier openings make it impossible for store employees to travel for the holiday. If stores open any earlier, it’s going to become a real infringement on family time.”
So, what’s her shopping strategy this year?
“I’ve been asking my kids to make Christmas lists,” Holly says. “My daughter is easy to buy for. I can swing through Justice and buy anything pink or glittery and she’s happy. Boys are tougher. Target might have Beats Headphones on sale. Otherwise, video games or whatever I discover at Dick’s Sporting Goods.”
When I asked Holly where she likes to eat, she scoffs, “I never take time to sit down in a restaurant on Black Friday! We might cruise through McDonald’s drive-through. I’ve told mom to pack a snack. And I’ll muddle through on Diet Coke.”
I wish Holly and all other Black Friday shoppers the best. As for me, I’ll be sipping a glass of wine and clicking my way through an online shopping spree.