As online shopping becomes more prevalent, many shoppers still venture out to stores in search of deals — and in the name of tradition
Black Friday used to be a socially proclaimed holiday tradition that had people lining up hours before stores’ openings, fighting to get the best pick of the litter and leaving with the best deals. Through the power of the internet, Black Friday has drastically changed.
Black Friday initially started on the Friday after Thanksgiving, offering shoppers the “best deals of the year.” Slowly it started to bleed into Thanksgiving and had people going from their Thanksgiving dinners to joining hundreds in lines outside of stores the same day.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, stores made the switch back, closing their doors on Thanksgiving day, including major players in the Black Friday game such as Target, Walmart, Kohl’s, GameStop and Best Buy.
“We used to go to everything,” said Target shopper Collette Rune. “Everything was closed on Thursday and we had to go but it started at like 1 or 2 in the morning and then it went to things were open on Thanksgiving and then now back to traditional, things being closed on Thanksgiving.”
In the pursuit of getting the best deals for the holiday season, families have made it a tradition to brave the crowds and snag items off of the wish lists.
The tradition has stunted somewhat in recent years because of the new player in the Black Friday game – online shopping.
“We almost weren’t even going to come because most people prior just do Amazon,” said Valencia Town Center shopper Ann Estes.
The phenomenon of having thousands of items on the internet and easily clicking on a magnifying glass to type in exactly what you are looking for has many shoppers taking this route instead, all from the comfort of their own home.
“I have to say I do most of my shopping online now, so we still come as a tradition, but I don’t buy a whole lot,” said Rune.
Although Black Friday’s physical presence on the day after Thanksgiving has diminished, instead, the one-day holiday has expanded online. At some retailers’ websites, Black Friday deals are available all month long.
“It’s now Black Friday week,” said Julie, a mall shopper who declined to provide her last name. “Yeah, it’s online and there are no more amazing deals, but it’s tradition, so we go anyway.”
Just as Julie did, as shoppers walked past the storefronts, they were shaking their heads at the plastering of deals offered.
“Thirty percent off? That’s not a lot,” said a mall shopper.
Online shopping, the availability of deals and what exactly the deals are offering bring into the question of why people still make their way to the stores. As all of those that The Signal interviewed said on Friday, it’s tradition — and there are still some pretty good deals.
Julie and Estes both said that Bath & Body Works’ “buy three, get three free” deal was their favorite find. When in the store, they also both discovered that if you spend $40, a $110 value bag full of goodies would be available to buy for $40.
Estes said that this bag would make a perfect gift for her granddaughter.
Rune is a big lover of the poinsettias and filled up her cart with them at Lowe’s.
“I get them at Lowe’s every year,” said Rune. “They’re so beautiful. I buy a whole slew of them.”