Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Bleak Black Friday

In my hometown of Chicago this past Friday after Thanksgiving, I ventured out of the house with my mom and sister armed with comfy shoes and a easy on-and-off jacket- ready for the crowds of Black Friday. A day that I usually dread, I don't get to see my family often so I thought I'd tag along on this shopping day from hell. But, to my surprise, the stores didn't seem any more crowded than usual. No home plate dives to snag that last pair of Chloe flats, (In your size!!) no cart bashing, no store employees herding the masses from door to dressing room to cash register. But, the herds of shoppers didn't seem to be absent because they had something better to be doing, but because the savings that most stores were offering really weren't anything to write home about. Apparel stores boasted sales of 15% off or buy one get one 30% off. We found ourselves in Best Buy later that afternoon, my dad dreaming about upgrading our huge cube TV to a sexy plasma, and the best deals they had were $50 off a $600 plus TV! It's a vicious cycle: retailers can't afford to give discounts and consumers can't afford the quasi-full prices. I've read a lot of blogs too saying that online discounts (free shipping, X% off) were way better than in store discounts on Black Friday- makes sense because online retailers don't have to pay rent!

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