BY VIRGINIA VANLIESHOUT
Black-Friday-crazed shoppers are starting to emerge from their houses, coupons in hand. With so many shoppers on a mission to get all the things they want at low prices, people could get seriously injured, as many have been in the past.
In 2008, at a Walmart in Valley Stream, N.Y., three people were trampled and killed after the glass doors shattered under the pressure of the mob trying to get bargains.
Because of this incident, large stores like Walmart, Target and Best Buy have adopted policies to keep the customers safe.
Kristal Atkinson, Best Buy employee of five years, claimed that Best Buy in Mall of America controls the crowd by using extra safety measure such as fire marshals and excess staff.
However, this does not stop customers from being overly aggressive while trying to get their holiday bargains.
“(During the) holidays there is a shift in (customers’) patience,” Atkinson said.
Senior Kjerstin Berg also notices the attitudes of the shoppers. “Aggressive line people … if you come near them they shout, ‘Hey, get at the back of the line!’ and then give you the evil eye until you leave,” Berg said. “It’s kind of terrifying.”
For intense shoppers like these, stores have started to forgo the traditional Black Friday protocol and started to open their doors to Black Friday shoppers on Thanksgiving Day. Stores like Toys R Us, Macy’s, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Best Buy and others have decided to open on Thanksgiving.
The reasoning behind the change is that it’s what the customers want. However, the National Retail Federation predicts a 3.9 percent growth in sales compared to the 3.5 percent pulled in 2012.
It may seem like an unusual tradition to go shopping for more stuff after having a day to be thankful for all that we have, but it has become a part of American culture.
According to the National Retail Federation, there were more than 307.67 million store visits nationwide on Black Friday last year. It is not just the sales that are pulling in customers.
“The sales aren’t that excellent, it’s just tradition for us to go,” Stillwater Area High School senior Laura Braun said.
“It’s an American tradition,” she said.
In addition, Black Friday is six days later then it was last year, placing it only 26 days before Christmas. Because of this, some people are expecting an increase in shoppers who are trying to take advantage of the good deals for Christmas shopping.
Even with this year’s additional hours at many stores, there will still be long lines to wait in and aggressive costumers to maneuver around.
This piece is provided by Hoof Prints, a partnership between the Stillwater Gazette and The Pony Express, Stillwater Area High School’s student newspaper. For more student news and views, see the Wednesday edition of the Gazette each week.