Black Friday shopping, fright or delight?

Zoe Kennedy, Staff Writer

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After filling up on a delectable Thanksgiving meal, winter holiday shopping becomes a must. However, with the flourishing advances in technology, Americans are more commonly found Black Friday shopping online. According to ‘The Balance’, “In 2016, there were 101.7 million people who braved the crowds. That’s more than the 74 million in 2015 […]In 2017, the number of people visiting stores on Black Friday and Thanksgiving declined 4 percent from 2016”. Instead of having many camped-out, coffee-crazed people rushing from store to store to grab the last item available, online sales hit a record of $31.6 million, which is 40 percent of the total amount spent by Black Friday shoppers in 2017, as stated by ‘The Balance’. The reason behind online shopping usually comes down to convenience and price, although in many cases, the benefits of actually going to the stores outweighs the drawbacks.

Personally, I chose to go to The Promenade in Bolingbrook instead of a crowded, stuffy indoor mall. The parking lots were packed, which made it seem like we would be stuck in endless lines of rampaging customers. However, it was quite the opposite. The stores that are usually popular, like Victoria’s Secret or Bath and Body Works, may have had a long checkout line but the store itself was not overly crowded to my delight. Victoria’s Secret boasted a glittery tote as a prize for anyone willing to spend a meager sum so of course it was sure to bring in most of the people and like many other people, I was able to buy the undergarments for a steal of a price. Even at Forever 21, which usually has great sales as it is, more sweaters and adorable attire made its way into my shopping bag. Unfortunately,  typically thriving stores, like Pacsun and Zumiez were almost empty because they lacked great deals and steals. For many, standing in a long line is an immediate turn-off. Nevertheless, the massive discounts were sure to outweigh any doubts for shoppers and the sales even created a distraction while waiting in a checkout line along with meeting some interesting characters that made the experience even more enjoyable. A major benefit of shopping at an outside mall is that we were able to get some fresh air after being stuck in a long line.

Even with the hustle and bustle in stores, a staggering amount of Americans would rather shop online. Conveniently, by shopping online for your celebratory needs, you eliminate the hassle of long lines and crazed shoppers, yet miss out on the human interaction and accelerating day of carrying your shopping bags knowing you saved a fortune. Especially with so many people choosing to avoid Black Friday and shop online, the empty parking spaces and stock has increased dramatically compared to past years. Therefore, online shopping has become more prevalent to many, so it has become less of a hassle to actually go Black Friday shopping.

Additionally, most Black Friday sales carry over for most of December and even bigger sales arise on Cyber Monday. If you are looking for a day dedicated to online shopping with amazing discounts, Cyber Monday has you covered. Therefore, there is no reason to stay home on Black Friday because that is the purpose of the Monday following Black Friday, known as Cyber Monday. However, since many of the sales do continue throughout the holiday season, customers should feel free to vacation and know that the great deals will be waiting for them, upon return.

The hustle and bustle of Black Friday may sound detrementing to many, but the lack of Black Friday shoppers has dramatically increased over the years with the increase in online shopping. Nonetheless, nothing beats the amazing deals and considering that not many people are Black Friday shopping as intensely, now is the best time to get out, and let the season of giving begin!


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