Smartphone footage of Wal Mart shoppers fighting over large screen televisions in Texas, suggest Black Friday was, as it has been, full of crazy shoppers hitting stores in the wee-hours of the morning to take advantage of ridiculous sales not available anytime else.
But, recent numbers suggest otherwise.
According to a retail marketing firm, about one in every ten consumer dollars were home last Friday, translating to a perceived loss of $1 billion nationwide.
Now, are retailers truly losing out this year? No. Black Friday is becoming more of a subset to the Holiday Shopping Season again, to be lumped in with Cyber Monday, Shop Local Saturday and, yeah Thanksgiving Thursday, too.
The National Retail Federation conducted a study and found nearly just as many people decided to shop from the comfort of their own home, more than 103 million people, than the nearly 102 million who decided to venture off into the mayhem.
It’s unclear as to who comes up with these special shopping days, but in 2015 we now have seven days devoted to consumer consumption:
Mobile Monday (Nov. 23),
Thanksgiving (Nov. 26),
Black Friday (Nov. 27),
Small Business Saturday (Nov. 28),
Luxury Sunday (Nov. 29),
Cyber Monday (Nov. 30),
and Green Monday (Dec. 14).
Cute and catchy, but it’s getting to be a little much. People must understand the marketing purposes behind all of this. That is, to get people to spend more money. No one wants to be left out in participating in what has turned into mini-holidays. Water cooler discussion gravitates towards whether or not you will participate, and a kind of peer pressure starts to set in.
Some of us really don’t have the money to be price hunting and shopping for big ticket items. Sure, it’s on sale, but is it truly necessary to max out your credit card to obtain something you really were not missing the previous 11 months out of the year? But, that’s the trick many of us fall into.
This holiday season is truly about giving thanks for what we already have, not beating up our neighbors in a Wal Mart for a television that will likely break down within a few years. Be thankful for family, friends and health. Shower your loved ones with tokens of your affection, and it doesn’t have to be store bought. A family tradition of ours involves choosing a name out of a hat, and making something for that person. No. It is not an Xbox One, but the time and effort of putting something together with your imagination and love should be worth much more than what you can buy.