What is Black Friday becoming?

Grace Smith, Reporter

Black Friday is something that most everyone knows about. It’s hard to miss the endless ads sent out within the paper or the bold letters that advertises it in almost every commercial leading up to the day after Thanksgiving.

Black Friday means huge sales at department stores and people lugging a 150 pound television out of Best Buy. It means parents fighting over the last few toys during the wee hours of the morning. And even though a lot of that isn’t necessarily seen in Fruita due to the limited shopping, the mediocre shopping centers and and almost deserted micro-mall aren’t a good example of what Black Friday is like elsewhere.

However, it seems that the days of insane Black Friday shopping are falling more into the past every year, not just in the Grand Valley, but everywhere. 

While there are still bound to be some extreme couponers at Kohls on the infamous shopping day, the Black Friday pre sales weeks in advance, the prospects of online shopping, and the store open times that cut into the Thanksgiving holiday seem to have made Black Friday much less significant.

“I think it’s less popular to wait in line,” said Fruita Monument High School senior Sarah Mahoney, “like I think a lot of people still shop, but it’s less people to go to the actual store.”

Maybe this is because many people have finally decided that the sacrifices they make for the shopping holiday just aren’t worth it anymore. 

 The entire website dedicated to injuries observed as happening on the day may be intimidating to some. It had recorded 117 injuries and even 12 deaths since 2006 due to Black Friday injuries that range from stampedes to stabbings. In a lot of cases, facing these threats may not be worth the good deal.

The huge crowds may be too overwhelming for many as well, and with the increase in other options for shopping sale items, the costs may actually outweigh the benefits.

Apart from the risks that the rather intense shopping day poses, Black Friday also represents the materialistic aspects of our society. Many people have possibly just started to realize that isn’t a good thing either, especially in the spirit of Christmas. 

Some companies have recognized this, namely the popular outdoor retail store REI. The company has boycotted Black Friday for the last five years, closing all of its stores and not processing any online payments in the day itself.

REI calls this the #OptOutside campaign, and encourages people to spend time outside instead of participating in the craziness and consumerism of the shopping holiday.

In the company memo the first time REI decided to opt outside in 2015 said “while the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we hope to see you in the great outdoors.”

The CEO of the company talked about how closing on black friday was about staying authentic and being true to their brand in an interview with CBS News. And while this has been good for the company and even helped it become more successful, other retailers probably won’t let up on the holiday sales any time soon.

And even within the smaller shopping scale of our community, Black Friday will continue on with new changes and earlier start times every year. Some may stand in line for hours to buy a massive Lego Death Star at a discounted price, finally buy that sweater they’ve been wanting online, decide to #OptOutside or ignore the sales in favor of spending more time with family.