No surprise, Black Friday was disappointing in most areas of our country. The crowds were much smaller than in previous years, and it’s doubtful that keeping brick-and-mortar stores open for extended hours provided sufficient sales to prove worthwhile.
Better Days When People Were More Important Than Profits
I know I’m an old man and have memories of better days when money was not the only God in our nation, but I have always been opposed to Black Friday. I am old enough to remember when all stores were closed on Sundays and Holidays, allowing families to go to church and spend their days together. Only some gas stations and some grocery stores remained open. All retail outlets closed their doors at six in the evening, every day, even during the Christmas season. These were better times, offering a better quality of life for customers and employees alike.
Black Friday Was Destined to Fail
I predicted what apparently happened this year. Inflation, or better yet, “Greedflation,” discouraged most Americans from making significant purchases. The primary reason resulted from a change already occurring, combined with a new trend forced upon our nation’s people during the height of the pandemic. More Americans are shopping online, using home delivery, or taking advantage of picking up their purchases from designated areas in stores.
For the last several years, my wife and I have purchased nearly everything we need online, with the exception of clothing, shoes, and food. Clothes and shoes don’t fit as promised most of the time, and I enjoy cooking and what I choose to buy at the grocery store must be handpicked by me or my wife.
My First and Last Experience with Black Friday
Several years ago, when I could still enjoy going to the gym, I left very early in the morning to work out. I wanted to see for myself what this “Black Friday” stuff was all about.
I stopped at our local “Best Buy” on my way and walked inside. It was an ugly sight. I saw customers almost coming to blows over certain items. The line to pay for purchases began at the front of the store and went all the way to the back. I left laughing—what fools.
Online Sales Are a Series of “Black Fridays”
Online “Black Friday” sales began weeks ago. I saved a lot of money on Amazon with their “lightning sales,” prices which lasted for only a few hours. I didn’t have to look for a parking space or fight the crowds. My purchases arrived at my door within two days.
No More Malls
Before 2020 and the devastation caused by Covid-19, I predicted the end of malls and many individual stores. Cheaper prices on most items, combined with an opportunity to read reviews by others, and, of course, free delivery to my home simply make more sense. Seldom have I been displeased with my purchases. I can’t say the same when I made the effort to go to the stores for my “stuff.”
Will This Year be the Last Black Friday?
What Thursday night/Friday morning proved this year is that Black Friday will soon be nothing but a memory. One of my favorite stores was “Sharper Image.” This innovative company has been “online only” for several years, as will most brick-and-mortar establishments, at least in their present form.
Written by James Turnage, Author of “Down from the Mountain”
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Suzzane’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of JJBer’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License