Throughout the years, holiday shopping has evolved into the commercial catastrophe it is today. With each passing year, the holidays bring about an increasing demand for the material items among shoppers. This ironically conflicts with the general idea of holiday’s, which are usually revolved around celebrating a specific event in history through the gathering of family and friends. Black Friday has become the model for everything that is wrong with gift giving occasions today—but something may be solving this problem.
For most people, holiday shopping begins the day after Thanksgiving, which is commonly referred to as Black Friday. Though the true origins and meaning of this day have yet to be officially determined, several theories have been declared. It originally began as a traditional day of shopping following Thanksgiving, where shoppers browsed through rare and limited sales offers.
In recent years, this day has become a holiday of its own, with stores opening up earlier and earlier each year, to the extent of some even opening their doors at midnight on Thanksgiving. Black Friday has since surpassed all rationale to the point of sales now beginning on Thanksgiving Day—and some retailers even renaming Thanksgiving to Black Thursday.
Due to the high masses of people who shop at retail locations every Black Friday, the number of people being injured during this unethical ritual has been increasing every year, demanding a solution to this national problem. In some cases this day has become responsible for numerous injuries and even deaths.
On a website called BlackFridayDeathCount.com, a list of links to various news stories documenting all of the injuries and deaths that have occurred on this day since 2006 fills the homepage. On the top of the page appears a large digital counter that states the number of people injured and deceased since 2006 due to Black Friday chaos—totaling seven deaths and 90 injuries. Each of these is detailed in the articles attached to the links.
With the evolution of the Internet, online shopping, better known as eCommerce, has become increasingly popular with tech savvy shoppers. With such online mega stores as Amazon, Overstock, Shopify and even eBay it is becoming almost impossible for shoppers not to find what they are looking for—at a reasonable price.
Besides making purchases easier for shoppers, it is also contributing to solving the chaotic problems that emerge during the holiday seasons. Although some stores and local businesses have greatly suffered and even closed their doors due to eCommerce, when it comes to Black Friday, online shopping is practically a holiday miracle. Because of online shopping, there are fewer crowds in the stores, causing less panic and dangerous situations for shoppers to be exposed to during Black Friday.
Black Friday is a perfect example of how materialistic people have become in America. With this dreadful day only two weeks away, pretty soon people will begin leaving their homes on Thanksgiving night to lineup outside various retail locations, all in hopes of saving a little money. But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore since most stores offer exclusive deals online now—almost immediately. If shoppers decided to avoid the Black Friday chaos this year and do all of their shopping online, this death-causing problem would most likely solve itself—meanwhile, still satisfying the needs of both shoppers and retailers. This year has the opportunity to be the start of an injury-free tradition for all holiday shoppers.
Opinion by Robert Masucci