Thursday, November 27, 2008

Black Friday? Not Here

Merchants all over the city are hoping that shoppers today will put their balance sheets firmly in the black. I do so hope that they weren't counting on me to help them do that.

I can think of many reasons for getting up early in the morning, early being in the 6:00 am and later range. Going shopping is not one of those things. As to getting up well before 6:00 am or even 4:00 am to already be on line when the stores open at super early hours, not going to happen. Traffic on Thanksgiving was bumper to bumper and moving at less than a snail's pace; today will make yesterday look like a walk in the park.

I looked at all the circulars that arrived on Wednesday touting today's special offerings and blockbuster prices. Frankly, I wasn't impressed. Nothing in them was tempting enough for me to brave the insane traffic or pushy crowds. When I read that the SI Mall has ambulances standing by in the parking lots in case someone in the crowd gets overwhelmed I figure the Mall is a good place not to be.

If you are one of those people who believe that braving the malls on Black Friday is good aerobic exercise, well, good luck to you.

Update Note: Two of my kids did decide to brave black Friday crowds in SI. What they both basically reported is that stores were far from packed and--gasp!--parking was available in the lots. This doesn't bode well for the upcoming retail season. The malls in the Long Island area appeared to be doing better, at least as far as my niece could judge from the lack of parking spots already at 5:30 in the morning. Lots of stores in the smaller malls here did not open extra early but kept to their 10:00 am opening hours.

I know it's not a good thing for those with things to sell, but it appears that people, at least in my neck of the woods, are not spending just to be spending, or at least the "conspicuous" part of consumption has been toned down. A "bad" thing for one group of people; a "good" thing for another.


Anonymous said...

The malls in our area first started getting crazy crowded between 11 and 12, except for electronic stores that did have people on line at 4 in the morning. May be the same happening in your mall. People weren't rushing to go out shopping in the dark. But you're right that the black friday gimmick didn't work as well this year as in other years.

Anonymous said...

Sales figures are in now and black Friday did 3% better than last year. Some stores got a slow start to the day but made up for it in the afternoon.

Scraps said...

I braved the Black Friday crowds and went out to shop. However, I did not shop haphazardly - I made a list of what I wanted from each store ahead of time so I wouldn't get distracted, and I went into each store and bought just those things on my list. This basically eliminated impulse shopping and meant that I went only for the best doorbuster deals. My mother complimented me afterwards on my good shopping skills. She taught me well. ;)