As the Bee’s retail reporter, I cover Black Friday, the traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season, every year. At about 12:30 a.m. Friday, I found myself at Fashion Fair mall, stuck in a mob of people outside Victoria’s Secret.
The crowd had completely filled up the mall corridor and come to a standstill. Hundreds of people were trying to get inside the store, which was letting only a few people in at a time. It was hot, people were breathing on me and a feeling of claustrophobia was starting to climb up my throat. I heard screaming. The forearm of the woman behind me was pressing into my back even though I’d already loudly told her to stop pushing me. I reached behind me and squeezed her arm because it seemed like the only thing to do at the time that might get her to stop.
I’d find out later that people were getting pushed and smashed up against the glass of Victoria’s Secret. All this for what? A $25 hoodie? Don’t these people know you can get a hoodie at Target for $12 any day of the year? Suddenly I came to a crystal clear conclusion: I hate this. I want to be as far away from here as possible.
But as miserable as that experience was, it’s hard to demonize Black Friday as a whole. There’s another side to the night that’s just plain fun. Earlier in the evening, people were friendly and quick to laugh as I hopped from store to store. Whenever I asked someone who spent hours waiting to get sinside a store how they passed the time, they all said the same thing: Making new friends. People who were once strangers were swapping stories, jokes and shopping strategies. The woman who ate her Thanksgiving dinner on the sidewalk outside Target befriended a cute little 10-year-old boy and the two of them laughed their way through the hours. Mothers and daughters in town for the holiday spent hours catching up.
Are you ready, Black Friday shoppers? Or should I say “Black Thursday?”
The post-Thanksgiving shopping madness starts earlier than ever this year as Toys “R” Us, Walmart and Sears break out the doorbuster deals at 8 p.m. and Target opens at 9 p.m. Thursday.
You can read all about what to expect in the Fresno area here. Note that stores like Walmart, Target and Sears are appealing to night owls and early birds alike with waves of different doorbuster deals throughout the night.
The earlier-than-ever opening times are inspiring a backlash from Target and Walmart workers, who say they’re ruining Thanksgiving.
But if you’re one of the many caffeinated Americans who make Black Friday shopping a family tradition, the opening times listed below can help you plan your strategy. Most retailers Black Friday ads will be Thursday’s Fresno Bee or are already online.
Also, many Starbucks locations near major shopping areas will be open all night Thursday, including Starbucks at River Park and the new one at Shaw and West avenues.
Nobody at The Beehive has stood in a crazy-long line recently for hours upon hours. Unless Bethany hides her “Call of Duty” addiction well. But it made us think: What WOULD we wait in line for? What would YOU? A movie you love? A new product you’d trade sleep and a shower for? Or would it have to be something out of the realm of possibility – like Tupac’s comeback concert at Tokyo Garden?
Here are our answers. Chime in with yours. Hint: Be as creative as you have to be.
Another Black Friday is coming to an end. Hopefully you all made it out alive with your $2 waffle irons and 98-cent TVs.
Some people were not so fortunate. Check out what happened at a Walmart in Porter Ranch, California, when a woman opened up a can of whoopass pepper spray on her fellow shoppers. To be fair, the Xbox she was fighting for was no doubt for a dying homeless kid.
I’m of two minds about Black Friday this year. Yeah, it brings out the worst in people and gives weight to America’s reputation as greedy and obsessed with consumerism, but man, does the economy need it.
So, anyone brave the cold and crowds in search of deals? How was it?
It seems that, in addition to Christmas, Thanksgiving now has to compete with this, the holiest of shopping days, for attention. I get it, I guess. Roasted turkey is amazing, but so is a 90-inch flat screen TV for $15.
Bethany is looking for readers to weigh in on what kind of Black Friday monster shopper you think are, and your response may get you a mention in The Bee.
Check out Bethany’s blog post, and leave her a comment, here.