When Black Friday Comes…

Years ago, the rock band Steely Dan created a catchy tune called “Black Friday”. Although it’s an upbeat tune, the message in the lyrics is one of looming disaster. Every time I hear the term Black Friday, my mind goes to that song. However, for most normal people, when they hear the term they think of the day after Thanksgiving.

Retailers hinge their hopes every year on Black Friday, which traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. A little research on the term Black Friday indicates that it was originally a negative term, created because of the gridlock in cities caused by post-Thanksgiving Day shopping. Financial disasters such as the 1929 and 1987 stock market crashes were named “Black Monday” and “Black Tuesday”, respectively. However, as the business world realized the growing importance of the day toward helping them finish “in the black” for the year, they began to use the term more widely.

That brings us to Black Friday 2012. I don’t know about you, but it seems that the holiday shopping season gets earlier each year. This year, in some stores, I saw Christmas decorations in stores in early October, with some perhaps earlier. (Could we be heading for a time when retailers will take a clue from Gretchen Wilson, who “leaves her Christmas lights up on the front porch all year long”??) Anyway, I digress.

So what’s your opinion on Black Friday? Are you one of those night people who are so obsessed with getting that $200.00 TV that you’ll show up before the turkey is in the oven Thursday morning, only to wait until the store opens at midnight? Or do you calculate your plans with military precision, with pen, paper and smartphone in hand, waking up the chickens as you head out the door? Do you eschew the crowds, maddening traffic and lines, and do your shopping with a mouse and keyboard? Or do you think the whole thing is silly?

Please let me know by going to http://blackfriday1.questionpro.com . You were so great to provide a lot of great input into the earlier poll last week about restaurant drive-thru lanes, and so now I’d like your opinion about your plans for Black Friday Shopping.

I’d like to hear from you. Please keep in mind that there are two questions on the poll. The first asks you to pick an option, and the second asks for more information. If you want to be really nice, please email me with your contact info or additional comments at moakconsumer@gmail.com.

Thanks again for the feedback!

Originally published by the Clarion-Ledger on 11/9/2012.


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