Do Black Thursday and Black Friday Have You Seeing Red?
How to keep your cash – and your cool – this holiday shopping season
The countdown is on until the holidays. Does it feel more like a marathon you have to win? More than likely, you feel you have to buy the perfect present at the perfect price at the perfect time – Black Friday or even Thanksgiving.
Do you know what that really is? The perfect recipe for holiday shopping stress. More than 60 percent of Americans report feeling frazzled during the holiday shopping marathon (1).
- Nearly 70 percent say store crowds raise their blood pressure
- Almost 37 percent are anxious about getting into debt – one in eight went $200 over budget last holiday season
- Nearly 30 percent feel pressured to please everyone on their list with just the right gifts (2).
“Add to that the ordeal of long lines causing you to wait impatiently, which causes your stress levels to increase,” said Suzette Casabianca, LMFT, a counselor in Palm Harbor, Fla. “The increased stress levels trigger your body to produce the stress hormone cortisol, the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline, and sweat.”
But the holiday shopping season can be no sweat if you keep it in perspective. “You are 100 percent in charge of what you think, say and do,” says Casabianca. “Don’t get caught up in a buying frenzy in the moment. Make your list, know your budget and stick to both. This will reduce stress and anxiety after the holiday season when the bills arrive in the mail.”
Black Thursday backlash
In recent years the National Retail Federation has heralded Thanksgiving Day shopping as a “new tradition for millions of American families,” but consumers balked at the stress of balancing family togetherness and the desire to save money. The trade group’s survey shows 54 percent of people dislike or strongly dislike stores remaining open on Thanksgiving, and 60 percent say they won’t set foot in a store that day.
“It was in 2014 that consumers and retailers alike realized we had to make a clear decision between Thanksgiving and consumerism, lest the holiday be sadly and ironically consumed entirely by greed,” said Brian Rich, founder of the popular Facebook page Boycott Black Thursday.
While many big box stores choose to remain open on Thanksgiving, a growing number of major retailers, are deciding to close.
“We consider ourselves an associate-friendly company and are pleased to give associates the time to enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends,” said Danielle Gross, a spokesperson for TJX, which owns T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods.
Experts say it’s up to consumers whether they want to participate. There are several shopping holidays this year, including Green Monday Dec. 12 and Free Shipping Day Dec. 16, to help you save money and time.
Consider buying online
It’s hard to beat shopping sitting in your PJs or in the school car line. Online shopping – and not just on Cyber Monday – takes the pressure off of competing for a door-buster and saves money when you use online coupon codes. Another popular incentive is American Express’s Small Business Saturday promotion on Nov. 26, and its year-round Shop Small program, which doubles rewards for qualified card-holders.
Overall, nearly 57 percent of people plan to shop online this holiday season – equal to those who plan to hit department stores. And retailers, especially those who will close for Thanksgiving, are boosting their online presence. “Staples.com will feature amazing savings with online deals so customers can shop from the comfort of their homes,” said company spokesperson Carrie McElwee.
Whether you shop in stores or online this season, remember you’re in control, and the memories you make with loved ones will be remembered long after that swirl of wrapping paper.
Will you be shopping on Black Thursday, Black Friday, or both?
Major stores CLOSED on Thanksgiving Day 2016
DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse)
REI (also Closed Black Friday)
Ross Dress for Less (select locations may be open during limited hours)
Major stores OPEN on Thanksgiving Day 2016
Bass Pro Shops – opens at 8 a.m.
Belk – opens at 4 p.m.
BestBuy – opens at 5 p.m., closes at 1 a.m. Friday, reopening at 8 a.m.
Big Lots – opens at 7 a.m.
Dicks Sporting Goods – opens at 6 p.m.
Dollar General – opens at 7 p.m.
JCPenney – opens at 3 p.m.
Kmart – opens at 7 p.m.
Kohl’s – opens at 6 p.m.
Macys – opens at 5 p.m.
Michaels – opens at 6 p.m.
Old Navy – opens at 4 p.m.
Rite Aid – most stores open on Thursday; check local store hours
Sears – opens at 6 p.m.
Stein Mart – opens at 5 p.m.
Target – opens at 6 p.m.
Toys R Us – opens at 5 p.m.
Walgreens – opens at 8 a.m.
Walmart – opens at 6 p.m.
- American Psychological Association study (2006): https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2006/12/holiday-stress.pdf
- Prevention survey (2014): – http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/solutions-holiday-stress