Target’s Black Friday deals started in late October… Today, you can score deals on Lego, Beats, Sony, and many other Reviewed-approved brands…
— from an article on USAToday.com, by Daniel Donabedian, staff writer and dedicated deal hunter, updated November 15, 2023.
Today is Friday, but it’s not the day traditionally known as ‘Black Friday’. A person who has not been paying attention to progress in America might think ‘Black Friday’ is still a week away.
Turns out, ‘Black Friday’ started more than two weeks ago, back in October.
Black Friday used to be a pretty cool thing. The day after Thanksgiving, while recovering from an overdose of tryptophan, we could join big crowds of friendly people in our favorite brick-and-mortar stores and save money buying gifts that would likely end up in the thrift store donations box by next Halloween.
But the fun ended in 2020, when we decided — as a nation — that shopping online was probably safer, and didn’t require us to wear those damn masks.
Three years later, no masks are required. And we’ve also dropped the requirement that Black Friday actually happens on a Friday. Or even, in November.
As noted above, Target started offering ‘Black Friday’ sales last month.
I find this trend to be offensive. For one thing, our children are going to grow up thinking that ‘Friday’ is a month-long period of time. Or worse, that ‘Friday’ means anything you want it to mean.
This is going to play havoc with our calendars in the future.
We’re already looking at a weird shopping culture among our young people. According to the experts, 50% of Gen Z shoppers won’t buy from a company unless the company is willing to to take a stance on social issues, specifically racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, gender inequality, and climate change. Plus, they get their product news through social media.
Gen Z shoppers also generally don’t care what day of the week it is. Everyday is a good day for social justice.
Retailers understand, however, that Gen Z shoppers have very little disposable income, so companies can comfortably remain insensitive and bigoted… and can still turn a profit selling to Baby Boomers, who control pretty much all of the disposable income in America, and generally dislike companies that take a stance on social issues. And Boomers get their product news in, like, newspapers and on TV. And junk mail. Actual, physical junk mail. If you can imagine that.
Also, the Boomers are overly sensitive to Friday actually happening on Friday. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
All of which suggests that the business of selling people things they don’t really need has become very challenging, with half the shoppers wanting it ‘this way’ and half of the shoppers wanting it ‘that way’.
Like many Americans, I pretty much learned how to shop online during COVID. And it’s somewhat addictive, as most Daily Post readers are well aware. Even though my needs are fairly simple — socks, coffee, cat food — there’s something about having access to 400 brands of crew-style socks that makes me want to spend money.
The people who study shopping patterns are claiming that, as of 2020, more people now shop Black Friday deals online, than in brick-and-mortar stores. I ascribe that trend to 400 brands of crew-style socks. Yes, we’re all addicts.
A few of the people who study shopping patterns are sick to their stomachs about the American consumer culture, and some even attempt to discourage us from celebrating Black Friday (AKA Black Two Months Leading Up To Christmas). Allegedly — a word that I use only sparingly — allegedly, Black Friday is the main cause of global warming.
On the other hand, it brings Democrats and Republicans closer together.
Fist-fighting over the last package of crew-style socks.
They should have shopped online.
Underrated writer Louis Cannon grew up in the vast American West, although his ex-wife, given the slightest opportunity, will deny that he ever grew up at all.