The Arke

What Time Should Black Friday Sales Start?

Anna Claire Hong, Journalist

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The Friday after Thanksgiving is a big shopping day known as “Black Friday,” with many stores offering their best deals to start off the Christmas shopping season. Each year, it seems as if Black Friday shopping starts earlier and earlier. Some stores open for the Black Friday sales on Thursday evening, which causes the employees of these stores to cut their Thanksgiving short to go work. The employees argue that the retailers are stealing precious time that they could be spending with their families. The retailers and other supporters of starting Black Friday sales early argue that stores have the right to open early if it is what the consumers want. They say that a strong holiday retail season is good for the economy to create jobs and lower unemployment. The question is, who gets to decide what is too early and what is too late for stores to start Black Friday sales?

Casey St. Clair, an employee at Target, believes that an earlier start to the holiday shopping season can drive down the morales of employees and strains the work-life balance that companies like Target claim to value. She believes that the day after Thanksgiving is reasonable enough to start the holiday shopping season, which was what Black Friday originally was.

Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, believes that consumers, not retailers, decide when the holiday shopping season begins. She says that if a retailer opened their store on Thanksgiving day and no one showed up, then that idea would be abandoned. But that is not what has happened. In fact, the retailers are rewarded with long lines and eager customers.

So, what time should Black Friday shopping start? Should it start at 6 p.m. on Thursday, 12 a.m. on Friday, or 6 a.m. on Friday? No one can truly say what is too early or too late for the start of Black Friday shopping, so it is just up to the retailer, and sometimes the consumers.

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What Time Should Black Friday Sales Start?