"When shoppers head out in search of Black Friday bargains this week, they won't just be going to the mall, they'll be witnessing retail theater. Stores will be pulling out the stops on deep discounts aimed at drawing customers into stores. But retail-industry veterans acknowledge that, in many cases, those bargains will be a carefully engineered illusion. The common assumption is that retailers stock up on goods and then mark down the ones that don't sell, taking a hit to their profits. But that isn't typically how it plays out. Instead, big retailers work backward with their suppliers to set starting prices that, after all the markdowns, will yield [...]
After weeks of what Shon Kay at one point described to me as "march, cops, march, cops," this was going to be something new. Occupy Oakland was going shopping.
Shon has been an integral member of the Occupy Oakland media committee since its inception. When I hear critics say OO doesn't understand media relations, I think of people like Shon—and I think of plans like this one, and their role in the days since all the encampments were cleared.
Over the course of the week prior, Shon organized a group of participants who planned strategy. Last Friday, on the busiest shopping day of the year, about 25 gathered [...]
Now that we are experiencing The Holidays—and don’t kid yourself about that—I would like to extend a belated happy Black Friday to anyone who observed or experienced that Holiday, or whatever it is exactly, like maybe an Economic Day of Obligation? Non-religious Holy Day?
I don’t agree too much with the idea of Black Friday, and I try to not judge people who want to have Black Friday. You wanna shop, go and do that thing. Shop till you pop, Black Friday, and now, what, Thanksgiving, Brown Thursday, they got you shopping now? Wowee, go ahead and go shopping on Black Friday Eve, fine. They might run out of [...]
Why is Walmart spending a seven-figure sum to fight a $7,000 fine levied against it by Federal safety officials after the 2008 incident at a Valley Stream, N.Y., store that ended in an employee being trampled to death? Because they don't want the government to tell them how to treat their employees, mannnn: "[In] fighting the federal fine, Wal-Mart is arguing that the government is improperly trying to define 'crowd trampling' as an occupational hazard that retailers must take action to prevent." You mean, the government wants to tell retailers that maybe using the term "Blitz Line" when opening the floodgates for people in search of cheap DVD players [...]
Congratulations, everybody: Black Friday retail sales topped a billion dollars, which means everybody is rich and happy again. Whether shopping from a laptop in bed with a variety of empty bottles and pie crumbs or "at the actual store" with your fellow shoppers in their sweatpants, you helped make America great again.
How much greater? How about 26% better than Black Friday 2011! That is just a phenomenal amount of spending, for a phenomenal amount of consumer goods, electronics, gifts, and whatever else people buy. Pretty much everything is a Black Friday sales item in 2012. Cars? Oh hell yeah, go buy a car on Black [...]