Holiday Shopping Season Kicks Off Early Despite Protests

Black Thursday officially kicked off today, despite numerous protests all over the country.

The holiday shopping was launched much earlier this year, with dozens of national retail chains from Macy’s to Gap to Target opening their stores on Thanksgiving Day. Photo: UFCW International Union/Flickr

The holiday shopping season took over despite planned protests from workers’ rights groups that stand against employees working on the holiday instead of spending the day with family.

“The holiday openings are a break with tradition. The day after Thanksgiving, called Black Friday, for a decade had been considered the official start to the holiday buying season. It’s also typically the biggest shopping day of the year,” The Huffington Post reminds.

However, in the last few years, retailers have set opening times into Thanksgiving night, pushing up discounting that used to be reserved for Black Friday into early November, which caused doubts whether the Thanksgiving openings will steal some of Black Friday’s thunder.

The National Retail Federation predicts that this year retail sales will be up 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion during the last two months of the year. That’s higher than last year’s 3.5 percent growth, but below the 6 percent pace seen before the recession.

Meanwhile, people rushed to do shopping as soon as possible.

“This is my first Black Friday, and I don’t particularly like it,” said Tammy Oliver, 45, who had a box of Bearpaw boots under her arm, a gift for herself. “But I did get some good deals.”

Shelby Wheatley, 17, went to shops accompanied by her mother, her mother’s friend and her best friend, who all arrived from Orlando, Fla. looking for prom dresses and wanted to buy it in New York.

“I did Black Friday-but never Thursday–and never in New York,” she said, adding that they celebrated Thanksgiving last week. “We just had dinner at TJI Fridays,” she revealed.

“My friend is chewing me out right now for not being there,” told reporters Rodney Bernard, 39, a writer in the Bronx. Instead of being at his friends Thanksgiving celebration he was at Best But. “But I really needed a TV.”

He revealed to reporters that he got a deal for an insignia 39 inch TV for $169, but decided to buy a more expensive 4 0inch Samsung TV after a store salesman said he could get $20 off if he applied for a Best Buy credit card. He got the TV for $399 that initially was about $700 or $800.

He also said that his friend doesn’t approve of shopping on this holidays. “He’s upset with myself right now. He feels offended and is like don’t even come by.”

Bernard shares his point of view, but suggests that it’s OK to shop if you really need something. Fortunately his parents decided on celebrating the holiday on the 30th as they had to work today.

“It’s not like I lost something, I’ll be celebrating.”

Jamal Afridi, 35, skipped his Thanksgiving diner to buy a 39-inch TV which fell to $160 from $299. He tried to buy it online but the device was sold out.

“I checked over the last two days, I wouldn’t have come out otherwise,” he said. “This was the best deal if the year,” he said.

He doesn’t mind earlier hours on Thanksgiving. “I don’t have to get up early in the morning,” he said. “Who cares it’s just another day, I’ll eat later.”

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