For better or for worse, local malls cut back on Black Friday hours

Ashley Cline and Hannah Stanley

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Local malls, such as Hawthorn and Woodfield, moved away from the overnight shopping stampedes of Black Friday by deciding to close shops at midnight on Thanksgiving night and reopening Friday morning at 6 a.m. One reason given for the decision was to save money that they traditionally lose staying open throughout the entire night. However, some customers have noted the decision dampers the excitement and thrill of staying out all night to shop ‘til one drops.’ While the trend of scaling back on Black Friday hours may be unfortunate news for those who enjoy shopping the event every year, it may be best for consumers and retailers alike.

“A step in the right direction” — Ashley Cline, Features editor

The move toward scaling back on Black Friday hours is a worthy compromise between eager shoppers, smaller retailers and employees.

The Daily Herald reported in the Nov. 4 article “No more Black Friday all-nighters? Woodfield joins trend of malls scaling back hours” by Eric Peterson that with the growing dominance of online shopping and lower visitor numbers at malls, the cost-effectiveness of staying open for 28 hours straight has become questionable, especially for smaller retailers. Condensing the hours will not only be better for the bottom line of stores but will give the employees rest during this busy time of year.

These changes in retailer operation are proof of the move toward online shopping as a more convenient way to snag some deals as the holiday season begins, as shoppers can bypass the cold, the crowds and the other stresses that come with the event. For example, if there is a particular item you are looking for, it is easier to be sure the particular color or size is in stock by purchasing online rather than taking chances on driving out to a mall with high probability that it will be out of stock.
This movement may be for the greater good, as people can achieve the same goal of purchasing items at a reduced price prior to the heavily expensive holiday season, while not taking time away from family and friends on Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is often overshadowed by Black Friday, with many stepping away from the dinner table just to shop the sales. Scaling back the hours gives Thanksgiving its time to shine and people the opportunity to display gratitude for what they have before going out and buying want they don’t have. The consumerist culture that comes with the holiday season and Black Friday has become clearer and clearer, and with so much energy and pressure going into buying items for yourself and others, we are pulled away from the true meaning of the holiday season.
As someone who loves to shop, I’m not against the idea of a weekend of bargains to mark the beginning of the holiday season, but I advocate for its moderation. The scaling back of hours this year is a step in the right direction toward a balanced weekend of both incredible deals and time to relax with friends and family– all to welcome the holiday season.

The beginning of the end for holiday tradition — Hannah Stanley, Assistant editor-in-chief

The craze around Black Friday has always drawn a sense of excitement for many shoppers, bringing deals and discounts to many stores, but due to the new implementation of reduced hours, there’s a loss of traditions and an increase in frustration.

The traditional holiday has many rumors about how it came to be with the biggest rumor being the following, according to History.com, the official website of the History channel: “As the story goes, after an entire year of operating at a loss (“in the red”) stores would supposedly earn a profit (“went into the black”) on the day after Thanksgiving, because holiday shoppers blew so much money on discounted merchandise.”

History.com reports this story as inaccurate, stating the real story dates back to the 1950s when “hordes of suburban shoppers” filled the streets of Philadelphia in preparation for the Army-Navy football game held that Saturday every year. The atypical numbers forced police to work longer than usual hours to maintain crowd control and to protect the stores from shoplifters. What was originally a time associated with negative attitudes toward shoppers eventually transformed into a positive tradition of profits for stores and deals for consumers.

Now Black Friday brings nothing but joy and excitement to the eyes of shoppers of all ages. Young teens, such as myself, live for a time to be out past their regular curfew to hunt for the low deals on their favorite items. After years of waiting for our parents to let us out with just our friends on Black Friday, the opportunity is now being taken away before some, such as younger siblings, can even experience it.

One of my favorite memories was seeing how late I could stay up while shopping the discounted items with my friends and older siblings, spending the money our parents so generously gave to us. It was a rare condition that only occurred once a year, but with the change in hours, I and others are now left to wake up early before work or attend the deals later in the day if not capable of attending Thanksgiving night.

No matter what one decides to do regarding the new shopping hours, there’s an event or opportunity being missed out on– whether it’s a traditional dinner and movie theater showing (what my family does) or the possibility of receiving some of the best reduced-priced items of the year.

The worst case scenario is one could miss the sales entirely, having to wait until Cyber Monday, yet that Monday has its own problems– websites crashes, incorrect orders and the chance to see the item in real life now limited to an image on a phone or computer screen.

There’s only a single solution to solve such a problem: Keep the stores open all through Thanksgiving night up until Friday night’s closing hours.