Black Friday comes early this year

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Photo from djlicious via Flickr

Photo from djlicious via Flickr

San Diego, it’s that time of the year again. Time to shop!

Sadly, Halloween is over and it is now time to put away the costumes and the fake spider webs. But when one door closes another door opens; the day after Halloween usually means delicious candy and other ghoulish merchandise will be sold for dirt cheap everywhere.

For 2009, however, candy corn and cheesy costumes won’t be the only things on sale after Halloween. In order to prepare for the “grim holiday season” that is expected as a result of the declining economy, some chains are advertising Black Friday deals a full month early. This premature Christmas sale is known as the “Christmas Creep.”

Sears began promoting its upcoming deals even before Halloween. Striving to be ahead of the competition and to encourage early holiday shopping, Sears plans to open its stores two hours early every Saturday, from now until Thanksgiving. The weekly specials will begin at 5 PM Friday and will only be available Saturday from 7 AM to noon.

Perhaps this “Christmas Creep” will benefit not only retailers but the safety of Black Friday shoppers as well.

Black Friday is the Friday right after Thanksgiving and many employees have the day off. This dramatically increases the number of people ready and willing to ambush stores.

In addition, most stores open extremely early, usually around 5 AM, while some even open that midnight and remain open for 24 hours. They offer excellent deals on popular and usually high priced items, such as electronics and jewelry. Black Friday also refers to the period in which retailers (hopefully) turn a profit; they go from being in the red to being in the black.

The origin of the name “Black Friday” has little to do with profit (referring to the day after Thanksgiving, not the financial panic of 1869). The infamous day dates back to the 1960s, when the Philadelphia Police Department struggled with heavy traffic and chaotic mobs that shopped from early morning to late night on the day after Thanksgiving that year. The police dubbed this day “Black Friday,” due to their aversion for this stressful and sometimes violent day.

From djlicious via Flickr

From djlicious via Flickr

Although not an official holiday, Black Friday is a day most shoppers never forget. Waking up at four in the morning or even camping out overnight in the freezing cold in front of your local Wal-Mart; all this to pummel through psychotic crowds fighting over an iPod.  It is definitely not how one spends a typical Friday. Fights have broken out, people have been injured, and in 2008, a worker was even killed.

Hopefully the early start of Black Friday sales this year will decrease all the chaos that is packed into that one notorious night/day of shopping.

In addition to Sears, other retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Amazon have begun advertising their Black Friday deals. It has been rumored that deals are going to be especially reduced this year since retailers are desperate to lure in the dough after the decline in costumer traffic last year. You could save big on plasma screen TVs, laptops, tools, toys, and more.

Remember San Diego, if you do decide to participate in the pandemonium that is Black Friday, be sure to do your homework beforehand and know what you are looking for and where. And of course, please be careful! Material objects — no matter how great a bargain — are not worth getting hurt over.

Perhaps you may want to consider shopping online in the comfort of your own home. After all this Black Friday talk, doesn’t that sound nice?


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