Surviving Black Friday

Alexander Vo

Thanksgiving is a pleasant time of year. Families are together, food is laid out across the dining room table and laughter is shared as everyone has a good time spending it with those close to them. But Thanksgiving brings on another time of prospects: Black Friday. The holidays are coming and people are already thinking about buying those holiday presents. What better time is there to get those presents when everything is on sale and at their lowest?

However, Black Friday is also a hectic time of year because everyone is thinking the same thing. The stores are open by the nighttime of Thanksgiving, some people are lined up at different stores across the state and they’re all thinking about what they’re going to get and how fast they can get in and out before the chaos that may ensue.

Luckily, there are tips that can help anyone prepare for Black Friday and avoid any major problems that can hinder their shopping experience.

Haelyn S. Epp, a sophomore at OSU, is working Black Friday this year as a brand associate at Old Navy. She shared some simple advice for how shoppers can prepare for a possible frenzy that can ensue at any store.

“Have cash on hand. Look at the website before shopping in-store because most of what’s on the website will be in the store. It’s crazy long lines to try things on during Black Friday, so either know your [clothing] size or grab the closest size. If it doesn’t work, just bring it in for a straight exchange and you can get a different size for the same price.”

There’s also the possibility that lines will be long to get in and get out and that’s an expectation due to how enticing the sales can be around this time of the year. However, with Cyber Monday just around the corner, the stores may not be as packed as one might think, thanks to the increase in online shopping and not having to deal with the large crowds every year when you can just order from the comfort of your own home.

“There’s not that many people who come in, compared to previous years. If you go at the right hour, like the middle of the night, it’s really dead,” Epp said, who has worked retail on Black Friday for two years, with this coming holiday as her third.

There may be some concerns as to whether a store might carry the item that’s on your wishlist this year, but fear not as most stores are prepared to deal with stock issues that can arise from the people quickly bolting towards whatever items they plan on getting. Haelyn also mentioned how stores do prepare for this occasions.

“Our store, in particular, opens 36 hours straight, starting Thanksgiving evening and all day Black Friday. Preparation is us folding down the entire store or making sure everything is in peak condition so that it’s a little bit easier to maintain. And we stock everything like crazy. We fill everything up.”

So while you may be concerned that it’ll be crowded and your most sought-after item is not available, you want to relax and not fret over it. Black Friday is a time of year when a majority of stores sell their products at its cheapest and you’d be competing against everyone else for those same sales. However, even if you do go Black Friday shopping and don’t get the item you want most, you always have Cyber Monday to look forward to thanks to those same stores working to offload any excess inventory.

The most important thing to be aware of during this time is to stay safe, keep warm and spend time with your family. Stores are opening Thanksgiving day, but those sales will continue the very next day, so take the time and spend it with your family rather than trying to get out early in the hopes of getting that holiday present for someone else, or a little treat for yourself. It can be hectic depending on the store and it’s better to wait and come back the next day, rather than going in before the doors open and risk getting hurt in the process. And this time of year is when the weather becomes the coldest, so if you’re going to be going out and shopping for hours, make sure to keep warm and wear enough layers.

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