How black will your Black Friday be?

Christina Lewellen
November 26, 2008
THE TALK...

The Talk... Page 2

I had no idea last week when I wrote the headline, "How black will your Black Friday be?" that we would, indeed, have a very black Friday. While I had the mostly-enjoyable day I had expected  with my mom and a close friend, I returned home to learn of the very dark news coming from a Long Island Walmart store. I'm as saddened and, frankly, appalled at this situation as one can be.

I asked readers to share with me their Black Friday shopping experiences and, aside from the terrible Walmart news, I had a few amusing stories of my own to share. I'll save them for another time (they seem a bit less amusing now), but I will make a point whilst I stand on my soapbox. As I mentioned, I have been participating in this spirited holiday shopping ritual with my mom for years and years. We always start at our local Walmart and then make our way around the checker board of stores, hitting the sales we've scoped out in the newspaper the night before.

When we showed up at our Walmart at 5 a.m. Friday, the place was a zoo. Living in a small town, we often see lots of neighbors and hear lots of polite "Hey Chris, would you mind handing me a DVD player?" This year, the tone was a bit different. People were more aggressive, the store was far more crowded and the poor employees were a bit more on edge. Things eased up once we made our way to other stores, and I know I'm only one account, but my experience at Walmart was a little "off" this year--and this is before I knew that shoppers at the other end of my state had trampled a man to death.

If you have an interesting Black Friday story to share, please send me an email.

The results of our survey say the shoppers in our industry expect to spend less this year. I predicted this outcome, given the state of the economy, and I even ventured to guess that perhaps Black Friday would be a little less busy this year. Boy, was I wrong. Maybe it was all those deals to be had. But I don't care how badly I wanted that Wii or that great deal on a down comforter... some lines aren't worth crossing. Stand in line, sure. Cross the line, no way.

Perhaps next year will be more fun.

Survey Results for 11/26/2008:

This year, I expect my personal holiday-related spending to be:

Less

66%

About the same as previous years

31%

More

3%

Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at clewellen@glass.org.