Black Friday Starts on Thursday at 7 AM! On balance, A Positive?

Black Friday shoppers at Walmart

Black Friday shoppers at Walmart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mark Collins from Burbank says,”What am I thankful for this year? I’m thankful I won’t have to sit at the Thanksgiving table listening to my fat uncle belch Christmas carols. I’ll be at Wal-mart getting a killer deal on a 52 inch flat screen for my bathroom. I won’t miss a beat on Super Bowl Sunday. Yeah Falcons! Woooo!”

Amy Langhorn from Northridge is a little less upbeat,”I feel a little guilty about not having a traditional Thanksgiving meal for the kids. But we’re gonna stock up on turkey sandwiches from Subway. So we’ll still have the Thanksgiving spirit while we’re in line, right?”

From New York to Dallas to SanDiego retailers are expressing thanks for the enthusiastic responses on Twitter and Facebook for the early jump customers are getting on holiday shopping. Jeremy Greenwald, economist at the St. Louis Fed reported,”It’s well known that about thirty percent of retail sales come from the holiday shopping season kicked off on Black Friday, well, Thursday. Since many shoppers will be foregoing Thanksgiving dinner this year we’re expecting about a 3 – 4% boost in retail sales.” When asked about the effect on the turkey industry Greenwald responded,”There are plenty of alternative uses for turkeys. This kind of shift in demand is just the kind of thing the turkey industry needs to spark innovation.”

We asked Matt Balder, a turkey farmer from Northern California, if he was concerned about the effect Black Friday would have on his business. “Hell yeah I’m concerned! What kind of stupid question is that? What the hell am I supposed to do with all these turkeys? Form a choir?” When informed of the opinion of an influential Fed economist Balder retorted,” Spark innovation?! Thery’re frickin’ turkeys! It’s not like you can train them to be seeing eye dogs or use them as a new means of transportation. Idiot economists.”

Large turkey producers like Foster Farms are a bit more sanguine. Jan Williams, head of Foster Farms investor relations, stated,”We don’t expect to take a hit on earnings from the early Black Friday start. We’re working with large restaurant chains to create demand for turkey in a different way. What way is that? Restaurant chains like Marie Calendars and Mimi’s Cafe will be catering turkey dinner buffets at more upscale department stores on Thursday. Nordstroms will be laying out a 300 foot turkey dinner buffet alongside customers waiting in line to be the first to get in the doors. Champagne and wine will be served along with premium beers. Wal-mart will be handing out turkey sandwiches and bottles of water for the first 100 customers.

We were surprised to find that women from the older generation had no complaints about the early start to Black Friday. Wanda Blackmore, 67 years old, said,”Oh hell yeah. I’m sick of waking up early and slaving all day while the men in the family sit around drinking beer and watching football. This year Earl can order pizza. I’ll be at Macy’s getting my Liz Claiborne cheap. It’s my time now baby!”

There have been some voices of criticism about the interference with an important national tradition. In response Congress and the President considered legislation to make Wednesday a national Thanksgiving holiday. But as the President said,”We could move Thanksgiving back to Wednesday. But then Black Friday would start on Wednesday. We’d just be chasing our tails. Eventually we’d be celebrating Thanksgiving in July. We’ll just leave it up to individual families to determine how they want to spend their Thanksgiving. Michelle and I will be having Thanksgiving dinner in the White House. We’ve got secret service agents who can stand in line at the mall.”

Given the overwhelmingly positive response from the public retailers are considering keeping their doors open all night on Christmas eve and all day Christmas day. Clay Griffin from Newport opined,”That’s actually a great idea. Why go through all the hastle of pretending there’s a Santa Claus and staying up late wrapping gifts? That’s really an inefficient use of time. Get up Christmas morning. Have a great breakfast. Give each of the kids two hundred bucks and let them run wild at the mall. Talk about Christmas memories!”

Well to Clay and all the rest of you we just want to say,”Happy Holiday shopping!”

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