Retailers want shoppers on Black Friday because companies can’t plan as well for later shopping. Last year, $11 million went into television advertising for Black Friday, almost five times the money spent for 2011 ads. Even so, four of the ten biggest shopping days are expected to be during the week leading up to Christmas.
But as ever more promotions proliferate - add Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday to the shopping calendar - the question remains: Just what is Black Friday anyway?
As I was reading several interviews with people standing in line for this year's Black Friday, it hit me that we're misdiagnosing Black Friday if we think that it's merely a reflection of America's greed. Greedy people don't need to put the dishes in the sink after a Thanksgiving lunch and rush over to Best Buy. They can be greedy any day of the year and spend as much money as they need doing it. The problem with Black Friday is that it feels like something you're supposed to do to show that you're a responsible middle-class American because it's rooted in three key "family values."
This week may be a in our culture. More people are opposing the consumerism of Black Friday—and now its predecessor Thanksgiving Day—while many others are turning to online shopping.