By Ashley Heng
Black Friday is a day of deals hours after Thanksgiving dinner, but is very stressful for retail workers and is not worth the hype. What may seem like a great time to shop for discounted items is actually not because there are other alternatives to bang your buck during the rest of the year. You may be excited to get something for a discounted price, but it is not worth fighting the enormous crowds to get something you may not need at the moment, and you may even leave empty handed.
The same deals are available online, especially on Cyber Monday following Thanksgiving when online shopping deals are discounted, too. It’s best to stay in bed than to wake up at 4 a.m to get products that may not be needed. When shopping online, you can look and find items that you actually want, and not be looking at random merchandise.
If you went to stores like Walmart and Target, you would have to go through the busy aisles just to get something that has a great discount like a donut maker. You probably will only use this once, instead of getting products and merchandise that are actually useful.
Most of the products on sale are not great brands, or the brand names are not really on sale. Most brand names for electronics or kitchen appliances are usually not discounted very much, and when you are stressed because of all the deals, your instinct is to buy the cheaper, low quality brand, that you wouldn’t think of buying if it wasn’t Black Friday. Upscale brands like Louis Vuitton are usually closed at the time when Black Friday starts opening, and do not have major sales just to avoid the crowds in stores.
Meanwhile stores like Walmart are open for customers at midnight and are packed with hundreds or thousands of people.
Seasonal decorations and clothing will be on sale after the season and will most likely have the same discounted price. If you are buying winter clothes on Black Friday, then you will still have to go through the stress of all the crowds. After January, you can still find the same winter gear for an even better deal. Plus there are still great deals after the holidays.
Perhaps, most importantly, Thanksgiving should be spent with family instead of waiting in lines and running in stampedes for useless products like a new TV, even though you probably have a good one sitting at home. Thanksgiving is a holiday where you spend time with family and think about what you already have and are thankful for. But then that special idea is ruined by going out late at night just to buy random products you probably don’t need.
Mall of America, the largest mall in America, will not be open during Black Friday. On Mall of America’s website, it says that the mall will be closed on Thanksgiving on November 24. Stores are suggested to be closed, and the mall’s website says that stores and restaurant hours may vary. The stores do have an option if they do want to open, and mall officials say that there may be a slim number of stores that do so, but there will be less security and fewer janitors working.
I went to a Gap outlet store on the Saturday after Black Friday just to experience that Black Friday frenzy, and there were still many people, but it was not as crazy. There were still plenty of great deals, but the store was crowded and displays were a bit messy due to many customers shopping and staff busy with helping customers. Lines for dressing rooms took quite a while, but the staff at the register were friendly and quick. Since this was a day after Black friday, it was not as crazy as the day before, and I would recommend to go shopping a day or two after Black Friday because there are less people, and still great bargains.