Love it or hate it?
Black Friday? The day after Thanksgiving (in the USA) where you can find fantastic bargins? What's not to love?
I have gone out on Black Friday for years. Thursday mornings I go buy a newspaper. which is packed with sales papers from all the stores advertising special deals on everything - from toys and electronics, to clothes and jewlery, to tires and home appliances.
When I go out for Black Friday shopping, I am shopping only for myself. I am usually done shopping for everyone else by then. Call it Christmas gift-buying for "me." Last year I bought a vacuum cleaner (the old one finally died), a portable dvd player, 19" flatscreen tv (for the guest room/office), blu-ray disc player, a small electric food chopper to replace the one I broke last year and a couple of dvds. Total cost, $325.00 plus change. Not bad eh?
Usually my experiences shopping on Black Friday are always good. This year was a dissappointing one. I wanted a new flatscreen tv for the livingroom but when I got to the store at 4:00 a.m. there was already a line for the tv and all of the tickets were given out meaning they were sold out. Wal-mart had a 32" on sale for $198.00. I was so heart-broken. That was all I wanted this year (other than a new Gucci handbag). So I was back home and back in bed before 5:00. Usually after leaving Walmart my mom and I would go have breakfast at IHOP, then hit a few other stores before heading home. I just wasn't in the mood for it this time.
Wal-mart is the first store I always hit first on Black Friday. Don't know why but it is. We have a lot of Walmarts but there are only three I frequently go to and one is a super Wal-mart. I especially love the super Wal-mart because it is open 24 hours.
Last year the store was well orchestrated. They taped off certain isles and formed lines throughout the entire store for the different major products. For instance, the line for the blu-ray players was set up in the hardware section and the line for laptops was in the pharmacy section. I thought this was a great idea, keeping the electronic section a little less hectic and overcrowding with people. For items that they had a few in quantity they handed out numbered tickets to customers, so it was first come, first serve.
To keep the flow of traffic moving throughout the store, they set up cones and taped down the center of walkways to keep customers flowing in one direction. The sales people had maps on hand to help direct customers looking for particular items. Plus they either had walkie talkies or headsets so that they could to talk to other staff.
Though I was dissappointed that I didn't get what I wanted the experience was still pleasant. Dispite the crowds, it was very calm throughout the store. It was almost like a normal trip to the store. Plus the fact that county police were everywhere.
Maybe next year I'll shop online. It depends if it's a big ticket item I'm trying to get. Then again I'm sure I'll be back out there next year.