Is Black Friday turning into Grey Thursday?

Many people consider Black Friday to be the official start of the holiday shopping season. But this year many stores began opening on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. We have all seen the Holiday shopping commercials that began in early October and many people were outraged because they think that it is making the holidays more about commercialism and capitalism.

 This year Black Friday sales dropped by 13% because many stores opened on Thanksgiving Day. Many people have started calling Thanksgiving Day “Grey Thursday” because now the shopping is starting on Thursday and taking the sales away from Friday.

In my opinion the holidays have become one big marketing scheme for companies to try and sell the latest toys and technology. What do the holidays mean to us anymore? Would we still treasure the holidays if we didn’t receive the latest technology and gifts?

Why do Americans sit down on Thanksgiving and give thanks for all of the things we have and then go out at Midnight to try and get the cheapest deals? You have all probably heard about the chaos and madness that goes along with Black Friday shopping and how fights always break out. With stores opening on Thanksgiving will the chaos start on this treasured day and ruin a tradition that has been in our country for over 100 years. 

Other countries do not have Black Friday but they do have other large shopping days that accompany a holiday. These are big shopping days in other countries where retailors offer great savings and deals to their customers.

How do you feel about Thanksgiving becoming a shopping day? Should it be a day saved for family and turkey? I personally enjoy the time I spend with my family on this beloved holiday and I was very upset when my mom left at 8pm on Thanksgiving to go shopping. Will Thanksgiving become just another shopping day that ruin tradition?

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22 Responses to Is Black Friday turning into Grey Thursday?

  1. Nick Kirkham says:

    I think Black Friday is one big scam. For one, most of the prices are not even that great. The stores just advertise so much more that normal deals seem even better. It’s just a ploy for big companies to make more money. In terms of the people and the way they act, it’s ridiculous. How horrendous is it that people die on Black Friday just so others can get the best gifts for the family. I think if the day (Black Friday) has a website dedicated to a casualty count, something’s wrong (http://blackfridaydeathcount.com). Also, I think it takes a lot away from Thanksgiving, especially for those workers who are forced to work. In general, I am not a fan of Black Friday.

  2. lapierren says:

    I have actually heard about this topic previously to reading this blog post. I received an e-mail asking me to sign a petition for employees to not work on thanksgiving. Working in retail I know a lot of stores that surrounded my store were open at 9 PM the day of thanksgiving and didn’t close again until 10 PM that Friday. Those are absolutely crazy hours and are giving employees such unfair hours. This definitely should be something that starts changing to not happen. On the other hand, who knows with business’s being desperate to gain the money this might become more widespread to almost all popular stores. Black Friday is already chaotic as it is Thanksgiving should not be turned into another chaotic day for stores and families.

  3. Black Friday encroaching on Thanksgiving is ridiculous, members of my family were making plans to go to the mall right after they left. Black Friday is supposed to start on Friday, hence the name. At this rate the shopping day will extend all the way into Thursday and probably keep starting earlier. Shopping shouldn’t be getting in the way of a holiday.

  4. minteerm says:

    When I read the title of this blog post, I assumed that the topic of Grey Thursday would refer more to the workers than anything else. I’m sure your mom went shopping on Black Friday to get the deals that so many Americans rush to the malls to score. I personally think that black friday shopping any time after midnight is permissible because, at this point, many of our family members will be experiencing a turkey coma, passed out on the couch after trying to stay up to watch the last minutes of the football game. Now that unemployment is such a problem and many people are without jobs or have reduced hours, money is becoming much more monitored, and days like black friday give families the ability to save money during the holiday season to make their families happy. No, I’m not saying that presents are what make holidays so magical, I’m saying that having the ability to give someone else something meaningful that you know will make them happy, is very rewarding. Therefore, whether Black Friday’s deals are too hyped up (as Lexi states), or not, Black Friday gives people the hope and excitement of being able to provide their families with something special during the holidays.
    Now, let’s move on to my point about the workers. When we think about Black Friday, we are thinking about what we want to purchase, what stores we are going to go to, and where we are going to park. Rarely do we think about the workers who are taken from their homes on a holiday to prepare for and work on the biggest retail sale day of the year. I personally don;t think it’s fair when stores open during the day on thursday, because the workers who need an income have to work so they can make the holidays special, but are forced to forfeit Thanksgiving to do so. At least shoppers have the choice to go out on black friday.

  5. Kristin Kazzi says:

    Thanksgiving is supposed to be a holiday dedicated to spending time with family and friends.It is also a day in which we should be thankful for what we have. Black Friday is causing a War on Thanksgiving and the holiday is becoming overtaken by consumerism. It is also ironic that we celebrate a day in which we are thankful for our material possessions, and then we end up buying more things later that night or the very next day. It really is becoming a tragedy that Thanksgiving is becoming a day celebrating consumerism instead of what we are thankful for. The holiday should be a day saved for family and friends. It is what its supposed to celebrate and always should celebrate. I think that the war on Thanksgiving by Black Friday will make Thanksgiving lose its meaning and instead become a holiday that is dedicated to shopping. We see this already happening each and every year because stores are beginning to open up on Thanksgiving Day. This does ruin the day for many people especially those that have to work on Thanksgiving Day because the stores open that same night. This is a relevant issue that many people should become aware of. If people do not become more aware of this issue then the meaning of Thanksgiving will only become irrelevant as consumerism will take control of the holiday and its meaning..
    For more information about how Black Friday is affecting Thanksgiving read:
    http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2013/11/27/the-war-on-thanksgiving-where-are-the-pro-family-forces/
    http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-thanksgiving-20131122,0,6619239.story#axzz2mZLvju57

  6. leximccauley says:

    The commercialization of holidays is not a new concept. We’re all used to receiving the big toys r us toy books in the mail weeks before Christmas to circle the toys we wanted most as kids, and now we are used to seeing big holiday sales and promotions to prepare for gift-giving holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. Companies aren’t stupid- they know that when the holidays approach, shoppers will be hitting the stores to buy gifts for their friends and family, and they capitalize on this opportunity. Commonly, people agree that Christmas lights and music are “not allowed” until the day after Thanksgiving, and Black Friday kicks off the insane last few weeks of shopping.

    Thanksgiving is about being grateful for what we have and spending time with friends and family, but having the day after dedicated to seemingly great deals does not “ruin” the meaning of the holiday. For anyone who understands how marketing works, the deals on Black Friday aren’t that great anyway, and the sales are not always “once in a year opportunities”. Cheaper products are put out for customers to buy, and prices are raised above regular prices weeks in advance so that the discounts look amazing, when in reality they’re pretty sub-par. I do think that Grey Thursday is taking things a little too far for people to sell low quality products. This forces people to leave their families to go work through the night and into early the next morning. I can’t imagine working regular store hours on a sale day like Black Friday, but being in there in the evening on Thursday with crazy crowds of people lined up must be awful. Black Friday is bad enough for retail workers, they should be given the full day of Thanksgiving off to be with family and to prepare for the hellish work day ahead of them. Shoppers can surely wait an extra few hours to buy overpriced and cheaply made coffee makers.

  7. pearyk2013 says:

    I hate that stores started opening on Thanksgiving. 12 am is early enough on Friday but now store employees are going to be taken away from time with their families on a holiday where people are being thankful for those families. People are also going to start leaving their turkey dinners early just to buy stuff cheaper than they would be a few hours later. Stores should not be allowed to open any earlier than 12 am on Black Friday. I would never leave early on a holiday and I never go shopping early on Black Friday. My mom and I go during the day, after the holiday is over. Opening stores on Thanksgiving is just further commercializing the holidays.

  8. dellaquilamp says:

    I think this is very wrong to take away from Thanksgiving. The holidays are a very big time in my family because it is one of the very few times a year my whole family can be together. As my siblings and I have gotten older we ask for less and less gifts for Christmas because we do not believe we “need” anything. It makes me sick listening to some of the stories of events that happen on Black Friday. I think it is pathetic how obsessed people get to find the best deals. It makes me angry to think about this taking away from the holiday of Thanksgiving. As said in the post Thanksgiving is a time to spend time with your family and think about what you are thankful for. America has really become this materialist that we are going to take away from the holidays.

  9. Sarah King says:

    I worked on Thanksgiving in the morning, and there were as many people showing up at my work on Thanksgiving night as there were on Black Friday morning. A lot of sales at the local mall started at 8p on Thanksgiving; even by 5am Black Friday a lot of things would already be gone. It’s ironic how Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day of thanks and appreciating what you have, yet the following day people rush out to buy fancy things where the deals turn out to not be as good as one originally thought. Some of my coworkers who went shopping on Black Friday told me “horror stories”-one saw two women scratching at each other over a pair of yoga pants, which they ultimately ripped, and I saw a story on the news of two women biting each other over a t-shirt.

    Apparently Cyber Monday did better than Black Friday this year-a lot of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals kick in online even before Thanksgiving. Read more. I believe that people shouldn’t have to work on Thanksgiving-business profits are not worth taking people away from their families. But I also agree with gadam22 that people should be thankful everyday, not just once a year. I guess I am torn on this issue-I’ve gone Black Friday shopping in the past, but just do not see the hype of it, and why people would kill each other over some purse, article of clothing or electronic device.

  10. gildeak says:

    I believe that Black Friday deals should be set to just happening on Friday, not Thursday. The whole point of Thanksgiving is being Thankful for the things you already have. It should be a day filled with good food and spending time with family. It should not be marred with the craziness usually associated with Black Friday. I think that the two of these need to be more separate than they are right now.

  11. gargerc says:

    I’ve only gone Black Friday shopping one year and to be perfectly honest, it wasn’t all that worth it because there are too many people trying to fight over something as little as a piece of clothing. I agree with shelbyluna, the Holidays are turning into one big shopping spree when we are supposed to be spending time with the ones we love. Don’t get me wrong, I love the deals because it allows me to buy more gifts for my family and friends but I stay away from going out to the stores and just quickly buy stuff online because they have deals online as well. The Holidays should be saved for relaxing and fun times with your family instead of chaos at stores like Best Buy and Walmart and they should definitely not start the deals on Thanksgiving day.

  12. bributler says:

    Every year for the past three years, I have gone shopping on Black Friday with one of my close friends. We leave the house around midnight, get home around 5am, and just have an all-around fun time. I think the amount people are throwing an uproar about Black Friday “ruining” Thanksgiving is a little bit ridiculous. I’m not out there to “injure people” or “bring weapons”, I just want to go out in the middle of the night and have a good time. Sure, there are lots of people who are making the decision to leave their family dinners at 6pm to go out and shop, but this isn’t a result of the marketing schemes, this is a result of their own decision. You can still go out at 6am and get good deals the next day. Sometimes, Black Friday can be a bonding experience for families as well. My aunt always asks about my plans for Black Friday, and that leads me to talking about my friends and what we do for fun, my life, etc. One of my friend’s families sits down together at the end of their meal and dessert and has fun looking through the Black Friday advertisements, searching for good deals. It’s a fun time. There are certainly people who abuse it and turn it into Grey Thursday, but I don’t think it’s as big a deal as others are making it out to be.

  13. julianoa says:

    Critics are vocal about the commercial incursion on the nation’s day of giving thanks. Thanksgiving is a tradition started by the Pilgrims in 1621 and officially proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise.” I certainly miss the times when the holidays were more about the family gathering in one place and sharing a meal, versus slitting each other’s throats just to get the latest gadget or material object. Over the past decade, Black Friday store openings have crept ever earlier. In recent years, the pace has accelerated, as 3 am openings by major stores have been pushed earlier to midnight, to 10 pm and even 8 pm! Stores can decide if they want to open and shoppers can stay away if they object. Ten years from now, the whole concept of Black Friday could be obsolete. Retailers are expected to continue to push holiday sales even earlier in November. The use of online shopping is also expected to boom as Cyber Monday has also been established. Maybe all shopping will move to a computer or hands of a mobile device at the dinner table. I feel bad for the workers who have to spend their holiday behind a cash register or facing the difficult crowds.

  14. gadam22 says:

    I agree with carignanm. A holiday should not dictate when you give thanks. People should be thankful for what they have every day. Also, I notice that on Thanksgiving, most people give thanks for their family. I do the same thing. Thus, on that day, people should be spending time with the ones they love. This means eating dinner and watching football to most. However, with the stores opening on Thursday instead of Friday, many people choose to go out and shop. I further agree with carignanm when she states that “Grey Thursday” is just another way for people to bond on Thanksgiving. I have only gone shopping on Thanksgiving once, and I have to say it was a fun time. I did not go to some crazy, packed mall. However, it was still fun to spend time with my mom and see some of my cousins. In addition, “Grey Thursday” shopping eliminates some crowds on “Black Friday”. This spreads out the consumers, making the event safer for all. There are only two things I can say about “Grey Thursday” shopping. One is that I feel bad for the workers who have to spend their holiday behind a cash register. The other is that I do not like the crazy people who will do anything for a television that is marked half off. If everyone would relax and enjoy the time they have with their loved ones, shopping on Thanksgiving is not such a bad thing. That is why I think “Grey Thursday” is here to stay.

  15. fortiera123 says:

    It is a tradition for my family and I to go Black Friday shopping. We mostly just love to do it to see all the crazy people out at all hours. Yet still, I do appreciate Thanksgiving as a holiday. I enjoy the family time and getting to see people during a special time that you may not normally see. So, it does bother me that the times for shopping are starting to become earlier and earlier and in some states, starting on Thanksgiving day. Especially with all the social media nowadays, you couldn’t go online without seeing someone post something about Black Friday, either that day, a few days before, and on Thanksgiving. It seemed to me that I saw more Black Friday posts than I did about Thanksgiving. I am hoping that since the success of Black Friday was not as great this year as it was previous, that in the coming years, the hours for Black Friday will be pushed back again to midnight so that Thursday can be devoted more to Thanksgiving, and less on shopping.

  16. davidawinn says:

    Black Friday Shopping has become out of control. People bringing weapons to hurt others for what? A good deal on an electronic? Also, every year someone gets trampled and dies when the doors open at midnight on black friday morning. To me, it isn’t worth the money I will save. There are always better deals closer to Christmas.

    Thanksgiving is about being with your loved ones and being thankful for what you have. In Massachusetts, there are blue laws, preventing stores from opening on thanksgiving (unless it is a twenty-four hour store like CVS and Walgreens). To be honest, I was a little upset to hear that the push for the blue laws to be lifted had failed, but at the same time, it allows people to be home with their families and not working.

    I don’t believe Thanksgiving and Christmas will ever be forgotten by the shopping craze of technology and great deals. For some people, Black Friday is a tradition.

  17. buckleyj17 says:

    Holidays will not be forgotten about. Although people may be preoccupied with buying gifts at a the lowest prices possible, they are still signs of generosity. While it is pointless to start deals one day earlier, Thanksgiving will not be abandoned because of it. Several family members of mine go Black Friday shopping, but I can not think of any relatives or friends who would skip Thanksgiving dinner, an annual event, to go spend wait in line at stores. I’m sure, however, there are people out there who would do this, but these do not seem like family oriented people anyway. The majority of people who celebrate Thanksgiving designate it as a day to spend with family and will not corrupt it because of shopping.

    P.S. Did you say that Thanksgiving is a 100 year old tradition…?

  18. angelod27 says:

    Many people disagree with the fact that stores and advertisements tend to rush the holiday season. Promoting some Christmas spirit early is not as bad as basically taking away from the Thanksgiving holiday as a whole. By having stores open on Thanksgiving, people are not grasping it’s true meaning of thanks and appreciation. It seems as if the holiday itself is being taken over by companies who are just focused on advertising and selling products to make as much profit as possible. Therefore Thanksgiving is basically being lost to greediness. People are becoming way too obsessed with these “great savings” that they find it necessary to fight their way through heavy crowds just to be able to make these purchases. I believe it is more worth it to just pay the price you would if you do not shop on Black Friday and be able to enjoy the holidays as they arrive.

  19. carignanm says:

    I see why many people would not want there to be any shopping on Thanksgiving, especially if they have to work, but I like going shopping at night. This opinion may be influenced by the fact that I am not a morning person and prefer to go out at night into the morning. This year, my mother and I went at night and then stayed until around 1:30am. We didn’t buy much, but we did a lot of talking. Surprisingly, the majority of the people in the mall were mainly talking, and were only carrying around small bags. Shopping is less about the stuff you get and more about spending it with people. The groups of middle school girls or families were prominent, and most people were found in groups. Though this is not true of all people, Black Friday shopping has become a social event for many other people.
    Many people argue the whole day of Thanksgiving should be completely free of shopping, so that people can take the day to be thankful for what they have. I believe that stores should be closed for the majority of the day, but they should be allowed to open at 9. Shopping is a great way for people to bond, as long as they do not go just to spend money. Besides the men that were tiredly waiting for their wives outside stores, there was a smile on most faces. It’s the long lines you are forced to wait in that force you to engage in conversation, or the crazy people you talk about when you leave the store. Thanksgiving is just a day; if you can’t be thankful the rest of the year, there’s not much hope anyways. There are so many days to be thankful. Be thankful for that one day a year when your cousin broke his back and was told he would never walk again, but he can walk now. Be thankful that day your family member overcame cancer. Be thankful the month your sister was hospitalized but is now healed. Be thankful the day you were so close to losing your dad. And be thankful every day in between, because the world will throw everything at you, but you always have something, no matter how small. Thanksgiving is just some vague holiday; true thankfulness happens when your world falls apart.

  20. Pingback: My 2013 Black Friday Recap | livingfrugalblog

  21. bouchardm24 says:

    I think it is really disappointing that stores are starting to open on Thanksgiving Day. I remember going Black Friday Shopping years ago with my mom and going at 6 am was considered really early. Now that stores are opening on Thanksgiving there was not the usual crowd of years past when my mom and I arrived at the mall at 9am this year. Not only is “Grey Thanksgiving” taking business away from Black Friday, but it is also forcing people to come into work on the holiday. My cousin had to work on Thursday night after dinner, and my aunt was not very happy to see him go. What was once a holiday to remember what we are thankful for is now turning into another big shopping day to beat out other shoppers on deals.
    The United States, however is not the only country who has these big shopping days. In the United Kingdom the day after Christmas is called Boxing Day. It is a National Holiday that everyone has off and they spend that day shopping. Boxing Day last year brought in 500 million pounds, or 818 million dollars. People line up for Boxing Day sales at midnight the day after Christmas. Since it the day after Christmas it amazes me that people will line up and go shopping right after they received presents. As seen with Black Friday and Grey Thursday people love deals and they will do whatever they can to get those deals. As the amount of people who go shopping on these days increases stores will continue thinking of how to keep them coming back. I would not want to go shopping on Thanksgiving or Christmas, but if the stores are open people will continue to hunt for the deals.

    References:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20842907

  22. reganka says:

    I think this is a very relevant topic. I have always gone shopping on Black Friday, but I never participated in the overnight ordeals, I just went during the day. I did this strictly for the belief that thanksgiving day is for family, food, and being thankful for what you already have. I think that is how everyone should treat it. The day after thanksgiving we can start focusing on other holiday shopping, but I do not think thanksgiving day is for such things. I really hope that thanksgiving will not become another shopping holiday. I think that would ruin its meaning.

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