We are living in an age of technology, and with technology, our lives have become more convenient and way easier. One way in which things are more convenient, is online shopping. During the Black Friday Sales event, the mall and others outlets are packed with eager shoppers, that at times can be overwhelming. Online shopping makes a shopper's experience easier, and less stressful. Soon, everyone would shop online.
N late October, Jerry Stritzke, the C.E.O. Of the outdoor-gear store R.E.I., appeared in a video posted to YouTube. He’s sitting at a desk, and behind him some bookshelves are decorated with bland office paraphernalia: framed photos, tchotchkes, an orchid. “This Black Friday, we’re closing all one hundred and forty-three of our stores,” Stritzke says; employees, he reassures viewers, will still be paid. As he explains the reasoning (“We’d rather be in the mountains than in the aisles”), the camera pans out to show that his desk sits not in an office but on a bluff, with mountains rising in the background. The video has since gone viral, with more than five hundred thousand views, and the Black Friday closure was seen as so unorthodox—and welcome—that it made national headlines. On the Forbes Web site, a blogger raved “Kudos to REI,” calling the decision a message that “success isn’t just about money.” In USA Today, another journalist wrote, “REI is taking direct aim at the frenzied consumerism that dominates the holidays with a message to do the exact opposite of what Black Friday demands.”
In the past couple of years, it must be said, retailers have tended to take a determinedly pro-frenzied-consumerism approach to Black Friday, beginning their sales earlier and earlier, so that they have eventually impinged on Thanksgiving Day. The phenomenon became so pervasive that it even got a name, Black Friday Creep. Walmart, the standard-bearer in Black Friday Creep, began its holiday sales on Thanksgiving Day for the first time in 2011, a time when the idea of abandoning the dining table for the mall still seemed transgressive. That year, Black Friday at Walmart began at 10 P.M. On Thursday. The following year, it shifted to 8 P.M. And the year after that, it moved to 6 P.M. By that time, other retailers had caught on to the Thanksgiving Day opening; Macy’s started its sales on Thanksgiving for the first time in 2013. By last year, Best Buy had moved its own opening time for holiday sales to 5 P.M. On Thanksgiving—even earlier than Walmart. The creep crept on.
But R.E.I.’s statement this year is actually part of what appears to be a slowdown in the creep. Best Buy has held fast to 5 P.M. On Thanksgiving, and Walmart has stuck with 6 P.M. While a Black Friday closure is unorthodox, other retailers are at least declining to open on Thanksgiving; GameStop will open at 5 A.M. On Friday, five hours later than last year, and Staples will open at 6 A.M. On Friday, after opening last year on Thanksgiving itself. There might seem to be something renegade, even anti-capitalist, about this, but there’s a business impulse at work: an attempt to survive as more people replace visits to the mall with visits to retail Web sites. When online shopping started to gain appeal over the offline version, retailers thought it would be smart to draw holiday shoppers into stores—instead of onto the Internet.
ADAM SMITH’S most enthusiastic modern disciples insist that the recipe for economic progress is to push government aside and let unfettered markets work their magic. His invisible hand theory does provide a tidy account of how market incentives can generate enormous wealth. But as Charles Darwin saw so clearly, unbridled competition doesn’t always promote the common good.
It’s not how fast or how strong you are that matters, but whether you’re faster or stronger than your closest rivals. The arms races that result when rivals jockey for position — witness the huge antlers of bull elk — often spawn considerable waste. And as with the elk, so, too, in the marketplace. The start time for post-Thanksgiving sales is a vivid case in point.
Jill Paffrath, with relatives at a Target store in Lincoln, Neb., said she may forgo bargain-hunting on Thanksgiving this year.
In recent years, large retail chains have been competing to be the first to open their doors on Black Friday. The race is driven by the theory that stores with the earliest start time capture the most buyers and make the most sales. For many years, stores opened at a reasonable hour. Then, some started opening at 5 a.M., prompting complaints from employees about having to go to sleep early on Thanksgiving and miss out on time with their families. But retailers ignored those complaints, because their earlier start time proved so successful in luring customers away from rival outlets.
Those rivals, of course, didn’t sit idly by. Their inevitable response was to open earlier themselves, restoring competitive balance. Other retailers began opening at 4 a.M., then 3 a.M., and, eventually, at midnight. Several malls have promoted “Moonlight Madness.” Last year Toys “R” Us opened at 10 p.M. On Thanksgiving. This year, Wal-Mart will do the same. The costs to store owners and their employees and families are enormous: millions must now spend time away from home on the one occasion that all Americans, regardless of religion or cultural background, share as a family holiday.
These costs might be worth bearing if they led to even larger gains. But when all outlets open earlier, no one benefits. Few people actually want to shop in the wee hours, and the purchases that do occur then are presumably offset, dollar for dollar, by reduced sales during normal business hours. Even the shoppers who turn out for early openings seem motivated primarily by a fear that others might snap up bargains before they get there. But if all stores opened later, there would be no fewer bargains than before. In short, we have a classic collective action problem, an arms race.
Black Friday (or, more accurately, Black Thursday Night) is only hours away, so it’s too late to do anything about early openings this year. But we can start thinking about what can be done to protect our future Thanksgivings. Many societies employ “blue laws” that mandate closing times, usually on Sundays. But there is flexible, approach to this problem.
Online shopping is a great alternative, but the ability to have anything instantly is much better then having to wait or pay extra shipping. Some places haven't adopted online black Friday sales or even online shopping whatsoever. Stores usually have better deals inside then online. So I think that No, online shopping will put an end to Black Friday Madness
No, online shopping will not put a complete end to Black Friday madness. While it's true that fewer people will lead to smaller crowds, this will not completely end the madness. The very concept of Black Friday encourages those who enjoy violence and mahem to come to stores and cause problems.
Black Friday is fun to some Americans. No matter how cold it is outside or how much snow is falling from the sky, people will always want to wait in line to get the best deal. The best deals are not online but are in stores. That is where they want you to be...in the store so that you see something else that you didn't realize that you wanted and buy more.
The one huge detriment to buying online is that you have to wait for whatever you're buying to get to your location; if you go out to the brick and mortar stores you can pick it up and grab it then and there which is likely what a lot of people are going to do. Of course, with a lot of people having this mindset you can guess that madness will ensue, online shopping may somewhat slow it but I'm sure there are things that people would rather go out and buy if they can have it immediately rather than buy it online and wait so they may do a mix of both. Unfortunately, while I would love to believe that online shopping would stop the Black Friday madness, it won't, if online retailers sell out you'd best believe people will check physical locations so at best it will only slow down some of the madness.