Each year, I refuse to shop on Black Friday. Waking up at the crack of dawn to compete with thousands of overly caffeinated,
Thanksgiving-stuffed bargain-hunters for something I normally wouldn’t buy, but have to because it’s 80 percent off, isn’t appealing.
Now, it’s also dangerous.
When the Orange City, Fla., Wal-Mart opened at 6 a.m. on Friday Nov. 29, Patricia VanLester was trampled by a mob of shoppers headed for a $29 DVD Player. Only her sister stopped to help her as people continued to stomp her on their way to the display. VanLester was knocked unconscious and apparently had a seizure during the ordeal.
Did the Wal-Mart smiley face’s aggressive approach to price cuts contribute to the attitudes of the shoppers that mauled her? Perhaps it was all the Thanksgiving football. Regardless, greed plays a large part in all of Black Friday.
Joking aside, greed always plays a large part in any Black Friday activity, and is the reason I continue to boycott it.
The fact that some Floridians also turned it into a tackle sport only proves my point.
With a low economy and fewer shopping days in the holiday season, greedy retailers expected sales to be mediocre compared to previous years. Stores either do not have as many products on the shelves or as many markdowns as in years past.
The economy boomed right before Black Friday, however, and there was more of a turnout than expected.
It was not worth it. Besides the fact that I don’t want to risk being the next Patricia VanLester, I like to sleep. On a short break from school, the last thing I will be doing is getting up early. Not even for a deal.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to shop. I just don’t love the cutthroat attitude of holiday shoppers. Christmas spirit’s best gift at the best price in the shortest amount of time has replaced Christmas spirit.
Eager shoppers didn’t let VanLester stop them. They bought a lot more. Even Wal-Mart still did $1.52 billion in business.
Unfortunately for VanLester, all she bought was the dust. She was able to snag a DVD Player before her ordeal, however, but was found on top of it by paramedics. Wal-Mart was devastated by the accident – they even offered to put a DVD Player on hold. Phew. I’m sure she’ll return to pick it up after icing the shoe shaped bruises on her back. For her sake, I hope it comes with a remote control.
Marea Kasten can be reached at email@example.com.