Sunday, November 17, 2013

Black Friday: turning into Grey Thursday (and my top 8 alternatives to minimize the drama)

I just heard in the radio that Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target among others will be opening their stores at 6pm on Thanksgiving day following an annual trend of opening earlier than the previous year.  We all know how this will end right?  Well, I do: Red Wednesday!  Yes, retailers will eventually open their stores on Wednesday with all discounts we used to have on Friday and now Thursday.  That way you can celebrate your Thanksgiving with all the electronics, clothes and other stuff that apparently are more fun than spending time with your family.  After all, we have the whole year to be with family but just one day we can buy the super ultra mega thin 80" TV.

I could feel the discontentment in the voices of the radio hosts about the fact some retailers are really destroying the Holiday.  As if people had no option but flock the stores and fight for stuff.  However, no matter how upset people get the point is people do have an option.  If someone waits for a whole year to buy something chances are they don't really need it.  Chances are if they decide to still go after a year of waiting, that thing is really more important than celebrating the holiday with family.  Chances are most could likely save enough money during that year to buy the stuff at regular price with minimum change in their on-going finances.

So don't blame retailers.  If they keep doing it is because people want it and respond to it.  And for many this is actually what Thanksgiving is all about.

Here are my top 8 list of alternatives to minimize the problem:

  1. Red Wednesday - then stores can close on Thursday and reopen on Friday and Thanksgiving go back being what it was.
  2. Serve turkey and gravy at the store - VIP package you can have Thanksgiving with your family at the store and priority to shop before it opens to general public.  This is my favorite.  Imagine you dining at the store looking all the hungry and cold people outside.  Prepare for a riot.
  3. Change tradition to Thanksgiving early breakfast - by the time stores open you're good to go.
  4. Pass a law forbidding commercial activity on Thursday - it will never happen.
  5. Go meditate instead - if you let go of the temptation of buying something that day you'll likely realize you really didn't need it.
  6. Downgrade - instead of the 80" TV you will have to cut the walls of the living room to fit in, buy the 50" at regular price later.  When I was growing up TV sets were about 10" black and white, and I still had fun.
  7. Organize annual shopping schedule assignments with neighbors - get your neighbors, 3 of them to be precise, and assign a year each to shop for all.  Give them the list and go enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner.  In that case you will only need to shop every 3 years, which is pretty acceptable, isn't it?
  8. (bonus). Accept shopping is more fun than being with your family, embrace it and  enjoy.

Any other you'd recommend?

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