Black Friday: Does it make cents?

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Photo courtesy of Diariocritico de Venezuela via Flickr

Shoppers break open their wallets at Macy’s on Black Friday, the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

Timmy Vu, Staff Writer

According to the National Retail Federation, 151 million people shopped on Black Friday last year, both in-store and online, spending an average of $299.60 per person. Jefferson students contribute to this large number, as many like to cash in on the massive savings on this day.

“Usually, I have a Thanksgiving dinner with my family the night before and then stay up until around 12 or 1 a.m. to go to either Fair Oaks or Tyson’s with my friends, and we usually shop until early morning,” senior Suzie Bae said.

Similar to Bae, many other TJ students enjoy Black Friday as an extension to the previous day-long festivities of Thanksgiving.

“I usually wake up really early so we can get to the good stores before everything is gone,”  avid shopper and sophomore Reena Medavarapu said. “I think Black Friday’s a good day because I get a lot of shopping done.”

Others may make use of the sales to prep for purchases they may need to make in the future. Black Friday is the official start to the holiday season, so the massive savings are a way for some people to afford the presents they want to give.

“I like Black Friday because it’s a day where even expensive things are reasonably priced, so you get more bang for your buck,” freshman Ayush Jonnala said. “Also, it’s a nice way for people who usually don’t have the money to shop for luxuries to buy something nice for their families for the holidays.”

However, there are mixed opinions on Black Friday. Retailers have started pushing back store openings, leading to some stores being open Thanksgiving night. Some believe that the true meaning of Thanksgiving is being clouded by Black Friday and the immediate start of the holiday shopping season.

“I do think that in a sense, Black Friday stands as a contradictory element to Thanksgiving,” Bae said. “Splurging on clothes and throwing money at TVs does go against what Thanksgiving stands for, which is ultimately to spend time giving thanks for things that are commonly overlooked.”

While there are negative opinions of Black Friday, different people have varying opinions on how Black Friday fits into the Thanksgiving Holiday.

“Thanksgiving makes us thankful for what we have, but the Black Friday sales give us more stuff to be thankful for,” junior Joseph Waddington said.

No matter your opinion on Black Friday, it should be recognized that everyone has their own idea of what the day means to them.  

“I think some people look forward to Black Friday instead of Thanksgiving,” Medavarapu said. “However I don’t think it’s that bad because different things are special to different people and if they prefer Black Friday, so be it.”