My first – an only – experience with Black Friday shopping occurred circa 2003 after opening our Laundromat. We decided to replace a broken TV with a rock bottom priced, Black Friday sale find.
WonderMan determined that we would target a certain massive-box retailer, known for rolling things back.
As Black Friday neophytes, we had no idea that 6 am was when serious shoppers left the stores to go back home. By the time we arrived, total chaos had ensued. Of course, the 10 flat screens for $20 (exaggerating slightly) were already long gone.
No matter. We just checked out the remaining sales and selected a TV/DVD combo for around 80 bucks. That’s when chaos went ridiculous.
Thankfully we didn’t need a cart. People were E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E! Folks were screaming at one another. Assaulting each other with carts. I had a near miss with a lady holding an armful of socks. A physical confrontation almost broke out in the random-stuff department.
No cart allowed us to bob and weave and eventually find a loooooong cash register line.
That was a stressful experience. One I have opted not to recreate. To make matters worse, I saw a sale paper the next week with the same TV for about the same price. I risked my sanity and well-being for nothing!
It turns out Black Friday is the name first applied by the Philadelphia Police department in the 1960’s. Only, the less-than-friendly-moniker referred to the way streets became overcrowded with traffic and pedestrians the day after Thanksgiving. We’ve been losing our Black Friday minds for a while. However, this latest trend of opening at midnight, or before, has only been around since 2011.
I realize I picked the monster of all Black Friday stores to have a first experience. However, I prefer the stress free process of comparing prices and snagging deals on needed items on Cyber Monday.
Do you brave the Black Friday shopping experience?