Black Friday: Views From a Jew

I see these commercials bragging about Black Friday starting at 8pm on Thanksgiving. Let's ignore the fact that it's not Friday (and we'll ignore the "Black Friday Deals All Week!" idiocy as well). My real question is: who are these people who think that's a good thing? I mean, if stores are opening on Thursday, that must mean that a majority of Americans think that's a good idea. Or at least that retailers believe that's the case. In my entire lifetime, I have met one person who genuinely likes Black Friday. So, maybe I hang in the wrong circles.

Oh, and another thing about Black Friday starting on Thanksgiving: Christmas is a holiday about spending time with your family, right? Have a delicious feast with your loved ones, give gifts to show your affection. That sounds nice. So why are people ditching one family gathering to get gifts for another? Live in the moment!

Even setting aside the recent trend of opening on Thanksgiving, the whole thing still doesn't make sense. If retailers have to offer ridiculous discounts on their everyday prices to get customers to show up, how are they actually making money? Either the bulk of Black Friday purchases are at regular prices or retailers jack up their regular prices so high that crazy discounts still leave them margin for profit.

If the bulk of Black Friday purchases are at regular prices, why do customers even bother showing up? If regular prices are so jacked up, why not just charge appealing prices on products all year long? People might be willing to buy things on more than one day a year. And then you wouldn't need Black Friday. You could just have Black Everyday.

Also, everyone knows that online prices are way better than even the craziest Black Friday prices, right?

I'm not looking for an explanation. I know that there's no good one. It's just one of those anachronistic things that I wish we could all simultaneously agree to stop doing.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!