Black Friday’s Relationship with Consumer Violence

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Is Black Friday Only for the Poor ?

So if you’re American and can comprehend advertisements, you’ve probably been tempted to go out and buy something for Black Friday, or at least added something you’ve seen on tv to your Christmas list.  Black Friday is an American tradition that is slowly spreading elsewhere. Black Friday wouldn’t be the focus of this blog post if it wasn’t so dangerous to participate in. People joke about how dangerous it is,but the violent acts that happen are no laughing matter. Its origins are still debatable, some say Black Friday started as a day where employees would call out the day after Thanksgiving, while others suggest it got its name from being the day where retailers profits went from black to red.

But not ALL Americans shop for Black Friday! I found this shocking because growing up Black Friday was a big deal in my household and a tradition amongst my family. However, while doing research on the Black Friday topic I found the people going out to Black Friday shop were those who were from low income or middle class families. After reading about this I thought about it and it actually made sense. I had never seen high end stores like Nordstrom, Dillards, and Saks Fith Ave advertising about huge blowout deals for Black Friday. Those who can afford to shop at high end places don’t shop for discounts. Why? Because they don’t NEED to.

A family was interviewed while standing in line overnight and asked why they did it? The response given was “If Black Friday wasn’t here, we’d go into debt from Christmas shopping,” she said. “I can buy things I wouldn’t otherwise buy, and you can buy two or three outfits instead of one.

The people who you find fighting are from families called “survivalist”, these are families making under 50,000. Do the videos you see of people fighting look like they’re fighting in mink coats for Red Bottoms? Or are the people being aggressive dressed in sweat shirts and pajamas fighting for the last play station 3? You be the judge :

 

You see the cruel violence mostly in your local stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Best Buy. High end stores like Nordstrom and Barneys doesn’t even open until Friday morning, NOT Thursday night. In fact, stores such are Bloomingdale’s have fewer sales are the years progress. “Once they have spent their budgets, they are done,” Perkins the president of Retail Metrics Inc said. “Retailers know if they get them first, they may not have anything left to go to other stores.”

What would happen if Black Friday was more than one day out of the year? Would things still be as hectic? Would the sales be a steal?   Would less people participate?

Underneath are two videos I made with my hall mates Ashton, Chelsea, and Kelly. We depicted Black Friday at a store where lower class or middle class people would shop, in comparison to Black Friday at a higher end store where upper class people shop.

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