While tomorrow is "Black Friday," the official start of the Christmas shopping season, many retailers have been opening their doors today, on the Thanksgiving federal holiday, to give Americans a chance to spend their money without going to the 5 a.m. doorbusters and not killing workers in a stampede. And, retail experts say, it's the 99% who are the Black Friday fiends.
The NY Times has a big article about Black Friday this year with a retail consultant explaining, "Those in a more modest income situation are the people who are going to the Wal-Marts and the Best Buys and the Targets at 8, 9, 10, 11 p.m. with little kids in tow because they can’t afford a baby sitter. It’s a very unpleasant shopping experience, frankly, for a lot of people... The women who are shopping the fourth floor at Saks are not Black Friday shopper." Oh and:
Still, a deal is a deal. High-end consumers and the people racing for the Black Friday special on $9.44 blenders at Wal-Mart continue to have at least one thing in common: they know hot holiday products go quickly.
For that reason, lines outside some Best Buy stores began forming Wednesday morning (the chain will sell a limited number of $500 high-definition televisions for $200 starting at midnight Thursday). And Neiman Marcus sold out of pewter-color Ferraris (luggage set matching the interior included) at $395,000 each within 50 minutes of making 10 of them available through its “fantasy” holiday catalog late last month.
Occupy Wall Street is encouraging people to Buy Nothing tomorrow, "On Nov 25/26th we escape the mayhem and unease of the biggest shopping day in North America and put the breaks on rabid consumerism for 24 hours. Flash mobs, consumer fasts, mall sit-ins, community events, credit card-ups, whirly-marts and jams, jams, jams! We don’t camp on the sidewalk for a reduced price tag on a flat screen TV or psycho-killer video game. Instead, we occupy the very paradigm that is fueling our eco, social and political decline."
Occupy groups in Seattle are protesting Wal-Marts while Occupy Des Moines is planning to send "zombies" into malls.
For those of you shopping today and tomorrow, here's a roundup of tips from Consumer Reports, plus some tips on what not to buy.