The lights, the lights, the lights that light the lights... Wait a minute while I get that Kmart jingle out of my head.
Is it me, or are the Black Friday and holiday shopping commercials earlier and more relentless than ever? Scratch "Black Friday." This year, it's officially becoming Black Thursday.
Sure, a couple of stores have been having Thanksgiving Day "Black Friday" sales for years. I remember when this was a new concept back about 10 years ago. I was a newspaper reporter working on Thanksgiving (booooo! but somebody's gotta do it), and I had to cover Kmart's opening on Thanksgiving night for some early-bird shoppers. It was such a crazy notion at the time.
Now, it's becoming the norm. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Wal-Mart, Macy's, Best Buy, Sears, Target, and several other retailers have jumped on the Black Thursday bandwagon.
What an ugly trend!! Not only are shoppers being lured into ditching their family on one of our nation's most meaningful holidays. Many of the store employees are being forced to take a shift during what should be quality family time.
Why, you ask? As the WSJ points out, Americans aren't much more likely to spend more money overall if the stores open a night earlier. BUT, they might be more likely to spend their money at the stores with the earlier sales, just to be sure they get that coveted item before it's sold out, or the price jumps up, etc. Essentially, it's a form of retail blackmail and survival-of-the-fittest competition between stores. Yuck!