Reporter Experiences Black Friday

It’s mid-November and I go online to my favorite store’s website only to see a huge Christmas ad dominating the main page. It is way too early to be pushing Christmas deals. Two years ago I rushed out at 4 a.m. to Old Navy on Black Friday, just to wait in line and get a free MP3 player with my purchase.  Although some people think it’s crazy, for me it was fun and the highlight of my Thanksgiving break. Economy troubles are forcing CEOs to push Black Friday deals super early to protect their bottom line. With millions of people out of work, Christmas spending is bound to decrease this year.

But what does this mean for the actual ‘Black Friday’? Will people still wake up at 4 a.m. and trample each other, just to get the cheapest flat screen? Stores like Walmart and Sears are claiming huge deals all the way through Christmas. With slogans like “Amazing Online Specials,” and “Cyber Monday Now,” the pressure is on to get the gifts.

But are these deals as good as they claim to be? According to, the list price for a 47 inch Phillips 1080p LCD television is $1300 and Walmart is listing that same TV at $719. Other hot gifts this year, like the Kinect for Xbox 360, are expected to be on many peoples wish lists. The Xbox 360 4GB console with a kinect and three games is being sold at Walmart for only $388. These are just the everyday deals.

Consumers expected even bigger deals on the real Black Friday, but with deals this good why would anyone be crazy enough to go stand out in the freezing morning air?  And what about the smaller businesses who can’t compete with Corporate America? Most family businesses just don’t have the resources to offer those deals. It is sad to see family businesses fail next to Walmart, Sears and Best Buy.

With Christmas spending such a big deal, it feels like people are losing sight about what the holiday really means. Instead of hanging decorations on the tree while listening to Christmas tunes, everyone is getting in their car and rushing to the stores to get the best deals.

A week before Thanksgiving break I went to Walmart to get some groceries and people were swarming the electronics section as if they would die if they didn’t get that new TV or video game. It is the beginning of the holiday season but for the past month, everywhere you looked, there was Christmas. So instead of getting all the insane shopping done at once, we now have to suffer through a full month of crazy Christmas shoppers.