Black Friday stories

By Alizabeth Christian

To many, Black Friday is more than just a consumer trap to rope hungry shoppers into above average deals. To many, Black Friday is a holiday in itself.

“I go Black Friday shopping every year with my family,” said UA freshman Alex Norris. “It is treated like a tradition, just like Thanksgiving or

Friday, Nov. 29 marks the official date when coupons, rewards points and credit cards will be put through relentless work to grab stores’ unbeatable bargains on the latest merchandise.

“To me, all of the excitement and chaos make Black Friday a holiday,” UA freshman Missy Gilmore said. “I love this time of year.”

Gilmore, a veteran of Black Friday shopping, has experienced a handful of intense experiences that may discourage those unfamiliar with the shopping world, but only encourage the extreme deal hunters.

“I have had a few interesting [Black Friday] experiences at Victoria’s Secret,” said Gilmore.

Gilmore describes one instance in particular that not only caused a laugh with some shoppers, but also some gasps.

“A few years ago, I remember Victoria’s Secret launched a limited edition perfume, and [most of them] must have sold out, because two women were fighting over a sample bottle.”

Gilmore went on to describe that the two women began to argue, and then suddenly, one woman quickly swiped the perfume bottle from the other woman’s hands and sprayed her in the face, rushing away triumphantly to the cash register.

“People can get pretty crazy,” said Gilmore. “There were times where I felt like I was going to be trampled or customers were going to fight one another.”

Clearly not fazed by some of the rougher times during Black Friday, Gilmore plans on attending this year’s Black Friday sales at stores such as Pacific Sunwear, Forever 21 and Victoria’s Secret.

With some sales beginning right after the turkey dinner on Thursday, some shoppers are committed to a rigid schedule of shopping, waking at early hours in the morning and shopping throughout the long day ahead.

Oksana Ott, another die-hard Black Friday shopper, is a UA freshman with a goal in mind for this year’s upcoming sales.

“I always get up at three in the morning for [Black Friday],” said Ott. “My family usually travels to [Pennsylvania] for Thanksgiving, so we all end up going shopping together at the local malls.”

Emphasizing her love for finding sales, Ott tends to focus her spending money on any deal pertaining to dresses in particular.

“I love buying dresses, and when there is a deal, I know I have to buy it,” said Ott. “I end up buying so many dresses because [Black Friday] has so many good deals.”

Though some may embrace Black Friday like Gilmore and Ott, others are not as

UA freshman Brianna Barkhimer works at Rack Room Shoes and is scheduled to work for Black Friday.

“It is so frustrating working [when it is so busy],” said Barkhimer. “The store I work at is already small and overstocked, so when there are so many shoppers, especially during Black Friday, it becomes so hectic.”

With stories of tramplings, fights, thefts and anything left to the imagination, Black Friday possesses a strange connotation of fun, excitement and to some, even fear.

“I went Black Friday shopping last year,” UA junior Sharontae Strickland said. “I ended up going to a Target and it was so crazy. The store [requested] that customers take ticket numbers, and it was really overcrowded. I remember seeing a small kid get knocked over during all of the chaos.”

Some may view Black Friday as an unnecessarily over-marketed holiday purely for commercialism; however, others view it as a time to gather among fellow shoppers to discover unbeatable deals. With the help of pre-Black Friday sales and even a special Black Friday app rousing up shoppers, excited Black Friday fanatics are counting down the days to the largest unofficial shopping day of the year.