Preview: Black Friday 2013

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November 29, 2013: the day after Thanksgiving – otherwise known as Black Friday. Many people denote Black Friday as the official beginning of the holiday shopping season. This year, there’s one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which will create more stress as customers feel the need to begin their Christmas shopping even earlier.

For the first time, many stores have decided to do the unthinkable: they will open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Some of these stores include Best Buy, JC Penny, Kmart, Target, Macy’s, Toys R Us, and Wal-Mart. In the past, many stores have opened at 12:00 AM on Black Friday in order to respond to the consumers’ demands. However, stores have opted to increase their profit rather than recognize the holiday as a day of vacation.

The announcement of an extended Black Friday has produced outrage, resulting in backlash that these retailers are “ruining Thanksgiving” (Finance.yahoo.com). P.C. Richard, a northeast family-owned chain of appliance stores even produced an ad of a family eating Thanksgiving dinner while waiting in line for a store to open.

How do retailers justify such an act? In response, retailers have said that they are accommodating those people who would normally be doing their shopping online.  However, the underlying purpose is that recent sales have been fairly unsuccessful and retailers are attempting to increase holiday sales.

Black Friday propaganda has expanded tremendously over the years. Television and newspaper ads begin soon after Halloween and continue throughout the month of November. Many stores have Early Bird specials that are typically only available until noon. Therefore, some customers flock to stores in the early hours of the morning to ensure they receive the deal of the year. There’s even a newly developed Black Friday App that allows for increased shopping success, as bargain hunters scope out the competition.

So, what are some of the best Black Friday deals? The best deals of 2013 seem to be primarily at Target, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart. The iPad Air Wi-Fi 16GB from Target is considered by some to be the best Black Friday deal: $475 with a $100 Target gift card, compared to the original price: $499 from Apple. Coming in at second place is a 32-inch 720P LED HDTV at a low price of $98 at Wal-Mart.

In addition to their inexpensive televisions, Wal-Mart also has announced its amazing iPhone prices. The iPhone 5s is marketed at $189 with a $100 Wal-Mart gift card; the iPhone 5c is $46 with a $100 gift card, and anyone can trade in his/her phone and receive up to $300.

For any video game enthusiasts, Best Buy has a sale on many of its Xbox 360 and Play Station 3 games, each $35 compared to the normal price of $59.99. These are just a few of the amazing deals offered by retailers on Black Friday.

For a bargain hunter, Black Friday is arguably the best day of the year. However, Black Friday shopping is not for everyone. Those determined to receive good deals will likely thrive in the stressful, crowded environment. The people who would like to do some casual holiday shopping should be prepared for chaos. While the deals vary from store to store, one thing is almost always certain: you will leave the store feeling extremely bargain-savvy.

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About Melanie Boskovich

Melanie Boskovich is a senior at the University of Michigan. She currently serves as Editorial Editor.