What Happened to Black Friday - Quicken Loans Zing BlogThanksgiving Day is a time for family, and Black Friday is a time for DEALS! But with so many stores having “Black Friday” week, staying open Thanksgiving Day and opening at midnight, where’s the thrill?

Every year after we’ve digested a good deal of delicious turkey, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie, our table is cleared for the Black Friday ads. The entire family is involved.  We draw circles on big deals, we make plans, and we keep it about the kids. But this year was different, and it wasn’t because of us.


For our family, Thanksgiving Day is only about family, and Black Friday seemed to be intruding on it this year. Every year prior, the ladies had left for the shopping extravaganza at 4, 5, or 6 a.m., and midnight just didn’t seem right. We were worried that by the time we headed out, there would be nothing left, and we almost didn’t bother. Needless to say, the day was full of surprises.

The professional shoppers in our family arrived at Target first at 6:30 a.m. and were shocked to find: no line! The year before, they had stood outside in a line wrapped around the side of the building when they arrived at 4 a.m. Next, at Kohl’s they stood in line with seven or eight shoppers, where the year before the line was wrapped to the back of the building. Not waiting in lines this year was nice, and surprisingly everything on their lists was still in stock. Customers that had been out shopping since 12 a.m. were exhausted and heading home, but our family was just starting.

Black Friday was always a holiday in itself, “the Day after Thanksgiving.” With Black Friday specials happening all week long, today was just another shopping day. There were so many pushes before Friday, and the same excitement just wasn’t there to get up at 4 a.m. or get out at midnight. You didn’t want to get your hopes up in case everything you wanted was gone. This Friday, to be honest, felt like any other Saturday. You couldn’t feel the same energy as Black Fridays before, you didn’t have the opportunity to bond with the people around you, like you would if you were in line with strangers for over an hour.

It’s still hard to believe so many people were working on Thanksgiving Day, and had to go to work at midnight on Black Friday. One member of my family had to work, and she told me a little about her experience.  She was forewarned, almost two weeks prior, that the store would open at 12 a.m. She received her work schedule, her break schedule, and where she was expected to be most of the shift. She was thankful the staff and service were really organized – everyone got breaks despite the rush – and they even brought in food for employees so they wouldn’t have to fight the crowd to get in and out. She did see some excitement with doorbusters going to customers that had camped for over four days, people changing their minds and dropping merchandise, and others throwing things at each other. Maybe she’s not the norm, but she thought it was cool that the store opened at midnight, but wondered, “Should Black Friday be on Saturday?”

Did Black Friday intrude on your Thanksgiving, or was it a thrill? Tell us if you went shopping at midnight.

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