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Has Black Friday Made Us More Materialistic?

Black Friday will begin on Thanksgiving this year, allowing shoppers to cram in extra hours of bargain hunting.

Everyone loves a good deal. Everyone. There’s nothing more satisfying than getting seeing a product labeled half off that you’ve been wanting to buy for eons.

But many believe giant retailers like Target, Walmart and Sears have gone too far in satiating this hunger for a good deal.

Black Friday—the Friday after Thanksgiving associated with gangbuster deals— will begin on, not Friday, but Thursday this year.

Last year, retailers stayed true to the day’s title and waited until midnight on Friday to open their doors, still causing some discontent because employees had to cut their Thanksgiving dinners short and arrive at work.

However, this year, employees won’t even be able to spend Thanksgiving dinner with their loved ones and will have to prepare Thursday evening for the Black Friday madness.

Several petitions have been circling the web asking retailers to stop the "Black Friday Creep" and not open their doors on Thursday, but on Friday like tradition has always been.

But aren’t retailers actually giving customers what they want? More hours to get those incredible deals that only come once a year?

Many media outlets and bloggers have decried the holiday season as the antithesis of giving and all about who can hoard the best deals for the longest amount of time.

Note: This calendar year offers the longest holiday shopping season.

“It has sort of turned into a ‘retail arms race,’" wrote the Philadelphia Inquirer.

And consumers are getting caught in the middle, debating whether or not to buy into the commercialism of the holiday.

So tell us in the comments, is Black Friday increasing materialism in our communities? Or are these extended hours exactly what we’ve been looking for? 

 

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Jack November 21, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Less. My Christmas list has gotten simpler: Seva, San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, Save the Redwoods... Merry Christmas!
Ralston White November 21, 2012 at 06:01 PM
You have it backwards. It's our materialism that causes Black Fridays. That and the fact that the middle class is shrinking and more people are desperate for a bargain. You don't see too many Mercedes parked outside Target all night waiting for the doors to open.
Terry Mc November 21, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Jack and Ralston are both right. I for one am going to make an effort to put the Christmas Spirit back into this special season by giving more to the needy, by meditating, an by showing more gratitude.
Rico November 22, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Ralston L. White, very good point about not seeing many nice autos where their owners are camping out to get in on special deals for borrowing money at the big box retail outlets. So far for in the last 10 years, they show on the news the poorest of people camping out, trampling each other and the poor employees to death sometimes just to buy some material goods on credit. To me, I think that system is disgusting. They really have the poor people brainwashed, thinking that debt is a good thing. Sooner or later, both the rich and the poor people will wise up.
Bill McGee November 22, 2012 at 09:58 PM
I don't shop on black fridays or thereabouts because I don't like dealing with the crowds and surveys are showing that deals are not that great. There are always a few loss leaders but there is a reason why retailers make a huge profit this time of year. Ricardo - I don't know why you assume all consumers are shopping on credit. After reading your post I did a little research and found the percentage is actually pretty low (some report about 30% - the percentage of people who primarily shop using crdit cards, this seems a bit low, but the point is that not all consumers are shopping on credit). Credit has tightened quite a bit since the mortgage crisis and banks aren't passing out credit cards like they did before the meltdown. There are lots or people still in credit card debt but it seems consumers have been slowly pulling out of this mess. People don't like to carry cash or checks but use debit or credit cards that reward consumers with air miles or other rewards. Many folks pay their balance every month and pocket the rewards. I have booked many flights over the years with these rewards just by using my debit or credit card to buy groceries and other essentials.

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