tl;dr: Black Friday is Dead.
There used to be a time when carnage was the name of the game on the morning after Thanksgiving. I would get up at 5 a.m. to head to the stores with my mother in order to partake in the chaos known as Black Friday. A day designed to kick off the holiday season with steep discounts on just about everything was capitalism at its finest. People would line up in cold weather, even going as far as camping out in parking lots in hopes of being the first to feast on deals.
This day was also synonymous with fight videos that often displayed classicism at work. People at the near bottom of the wage pool would be lured out of their homes like sheep in hopes of getting Cheap Chinese Trash TVs for dirt cheap. For once you could be poor and still have the appearance of someone who could keep up with the Joneses. For some, it was a sad reminder of the financial division that plagues this country. For most of us, it was pure entertainment. Watching people fight over practically nothing was always the highlight of my Thanksgiving weekend. There was a beautiful irony in watching people going from being thankful for what they had to being frenzied enough by low prices on the things they didn’t have to get into brawls over (but did).
I would relentlessly survey Twitter and Youtube, hoping to catch some carnage. My body would tingle as I peeped videos of guys throwing haymakers at each other. The sight of some white lady snatching a popcorn maker out of a little girl’s hands in front of her mother had me on the floor in laughter. During a dark time in my life, these fight videos got me in the Christmas spirit. Those were the days. Sadly for some of us who still get a sick thrill from watching the less privileged duke it out on items the rest of us know how to obtain for decent prices without the hassle, those days are numbered.
This has probably been one of the most uneventful Black Fridays in recent memory. I rolled out of bed, left my house by 11, and was able to get to a Best Buy with little difficulty. I was able to find everything I needed without having to fight through the crowds. Best Buy used to be a zoo on this day. The store would be filled to the brim with shoppers looking to kick off the holidays. What was once a day of carnage now feels like a regular weekend. So, what happened to the days of fist fights, and people getting trampled to death?
1. The rise of online shopping seems to have contributed greatly to the decline of people risking it all. Companies like Amazon and eBay have grown substantially in the last few years. Amazon’s two day free shipping has made it easier to shop from the comfort of your own home. The growth of Amazon has allowed many companies to utilize them as a vendor for their goods.
2. Most stores also offer the same in store deals online. On many occasions, I was able to set aside things for pickup at Best Buy, and skip the lines.
3. Many stores have started offering deals on items when November starts. Some of the better deals are saved for the day of, but there are plenty of good deals to be had at the beginning of the month.
4. People have gotten smarter over the years about TVs. TVs have become more affordable over the years as the technology has changed. Many companies have also started offering different Tiers of TVs, making it easier for people to enjoy their favorite brands at a price point that works for them.
5. The rise of second hand marketplaces like the Facebook Marketplace have made it easier for people to obtain used goods at steep discounts.
6. Better security and store layout has also played a factor in to the decline of the once infamous fights.
Black Friday has had its time in the sun, but sadly it seems to be slowly fading into obscurity. Brick and Motor stores are completing with online store fronts, and that competition has become more apparent. As people learn to shop smarter, braving the elements just to get into a store early is becoming passé. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think Black Friday maybe slowly becoming a thing of the past.
Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.