There was a time when Black Friday actually didn’t start until 9:00 AM. Then it went to 8:00 AM; then 7:00 AM.
Soon Black Friday started at 5:00 am; and in recent years Black Friday sales started at Midnight!
Tuesday night I found myself in JCPenney; my friend needed to pick up a piece of jewelry that was being repaired. We were engaged in conversation with the salesperson about Black Friday. Here is what she shared:
- The store would be opening at 4:00 AM; she needed to be there at 3:00 AM to get the diamonds into the counter
- Every employee would be working that day
- Every employee would be working a ten hour shift
- Every employee would only be given a thirty minute break during that ten hour shift
First of all there is nothing I need or want that badly to get me up and at the store at 4:00 AM. There is nothing I need or want that badly that would get me to line up at midnight for a sale. Remember the trampling death on Long Island (NY)? I’ll pay an extra $8 for something in order to stay alive; or maybe I really wasn’t supposed to have it in the first place.
But I do think of all those retail employees who are working today – and harder than a lot of people who sit at a desk. Refolding what people unfolded and didn’t like. Re-hanging all those clothes that didn’t fit – you haven’t been that size since third grade. Picking up what people threw on the floor. Restocking shelves. And of course smiling and wishing everyone Happy Holidays; when in some cases there were two others words that would have been their first choice.
I think about the verbal abuse that some of those employees will take today. Out of stock items. People who left their coupons at home. And people who are just looking to get everything for free.
If you’re a retail management employee, please give your team lots of recognition and praise during this holiday season. Thank them for their patience. smiles, lack of sleep and customer service. It will keep them engaged and working hard for you.
And then there will be the employees who absolutely love the chaos, craziness, and disorder. There are people who thrive on those things. They’ll be smiling and laughing at the mess and uptight customers. They’ll be laughing at people who got up at 4:00 in the morning to find out their item was already out of stock……………….
Already out of stock???? Right when the doors open??? Yep.
You see, JCPenney (and I’m sure others) had one register set up for Black Friday when we were in the store on Tuesday night. So if you couldn’t make the 4:00 opening (or were smart and stayed as far away as possible) you were able to purchase your item on Tuesday; just not take it home; and come pick it up at your convenience. Works for me.
So while a whole bunch of people are “enjoying” the craziness of mall parking lots, crowds of people and traffic jams, I slept in late and am eating leftovers. Pie and coffee for breakfast was delicious!