How Best to Deal with Black Friday Traditions

Retail Stores spend months preparing for Black Friday. Many began with the tally of sells from the previous year. Executives count the profits, then subtract the cost. After much study of what worked and what did not, they begin to plan special sales for the following year. Decisions are made months before the sales are announced to the public. Orders to suppliers are placed well in advance.

Shoppers begin making lists of things they hope to find on the sale ads Black Friday when they fulfill their traditions and spend all their cash and max out their credit cards. Some begin immediately after shopping the previous year, making plans to beat the crowds to the bargains and to save more money for next year’s sales.

Retail Stores evaluate their employee force and determine how many new hires are needed to take care of the busy days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Physical ads are printed, virtual ads made ready, and e-mails prepared to send to subscribers.

Shoppers get anxious for the special shopping day about the time Halloween costumes hit the stores. The weekend before Thanksgiving, the biggest concern is to get a peek at the Black Friday sales flyers and determine what to spend their money or max their credit on rather than how best to express thanks for what they already have.

Retail Stores send out ads and e-mails announcing sales.

Shoppers make lists, map routes and put on their running shoes.

Retail Stores fill the aisles of stores with sale items and wrap them with plastic so no one gets a head start.

Shoppers run through the store in mobs, trampling all who get in their way.

Retail Stores employees cut the plastic that protects the stacks of merchandise and run for cover, hoping to escape the stampeding shoppers.
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Shoppers wander through the store for hours filling shopping carts with bargains, fighting for the last one the shelf, wait in check out lines for an hour or more to turn their paychecks over to a weary cashier, then finally return home to crash, exhausted on the couch.

How I Prepare for Black Friday
The weekend before Thanksgiving I begin my own preparations for Black Friday. Here is what I do:

1. Make a list of things to take to Thanksgiving Dinner at mom’s.
2. Make a menu for two weeks of meals for my household.
3. Inventory pantry, fridge and freezer for supplies needed for these meals.
4. Shop on Monday for the items on my list.
5. Tuesday, check to see that I have sufficient office supplies for two weeks of writing and make any last minute purchases.
6. Wednesday, finish preparations for Thanksgiving Dinner.
7. Spend Thanksgiving Day with family.
8. Go home and prepare to hibernate and write for the next two weeks.

Traditions are powerful motivators. I shopped the Black Friday sales for several years before deciding the best place for me was at home during this mad rush for bargains, figuring if an item wasn’t available after the rush was over, I could do without it, cheaper price or not. Over the years, my family has done away with a few things that were once traditional and added a few things we considered worthwhile to replace them.

Watch my posts for the next few weeks to see the changes we have made in our family traditions. While you wait, I would love to hear from you. How do you feel about Black Friday? Do you fight the crowds for the bargains?

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