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Patch Poll: Has Black Friday Gone too Far?

This year, Black Friday was marred by violence and crime. Is it time for retailers to dial back the hype and promotion?

Should Black Friday be renamed Bloody Friday? Insane Friday? What-Has-This-Country-Come-To Friday?

For some shoppers, Black Friday is all about the hunt for a good deal, and even a fun night, or early morning, out. However, in addition to a good deal on the latest electronics, Black Friday brought incidents involving pepper spray, shootings, looting and beatings.

“Instead of a nice sweater, you need a bulletproof vest and goggles," Betty Thomas, 52, told the Associated Press Saturday while shopping with her family at a mall in Raleigh, N.C.

Has this sales strategy gone too far? Should retailers be encouraged to dial back Black Friday hype and promotion?

In addition to Black Friday, football is part of the Thanksgiving tradition, according to the latest . Eighty-five percent answered that football should be allowed to be on the TV during the Thanksgiving celebration.

Fourteen percent said no, it distracts from the meal and conversation.

Dani November 28, 2011 at 12:04 PM
Despite retailers' roles in the Black Friday hype, individuals have ultimate control over their actions. What ever happened to personal responsibility???
J. Burket November 28, 2011 at 12:45 PM
I have always used the 10% rule. Specifically, 10% of the general population is nuts or should have a do-nof-touch sign on their person. Therefore, if there are 500 people in front of your local Best Buy angling for a $300 TV . . . you do the math. IMO, shopping is best done locally if possible. If not, fire up the iMac and buy online. My wife and kids rarely pepper spray me when I am at my desk.
Jim R November 28, 2011 at 01:49 PM
The stores have gone overboard where they now are open on Thanksgiving evening, To me it shows these stores do not have much respect for the families on holiday celebrations. Here we should be giving thanks to God for what we have been given and sharing with those who have so little, not being crowded into stores to obtain some bargain. It would be better to stop the Thanksgiving sales on the Thursday evening and not open the stores until the next day. In addition to that extend the supposed big sales for the day and not crowd it into a short time frame on Friday morning. Making sure they have sufficient supplies and longer hours for the sale may make the stores more responsible for the care of their customers instead of a short time which leads people to form crowds leading too often to rude or dangerous behavior. Stores must take responsibility for setting up situations for causing crowds to form and should be held responsible where they do not set up their own additional security teams to handle these situations. It is not the responsibility of the local police to have to handle this for them since they are the ones causing these crowds,
Claudine Barnhart November 28, 2011 at 02:31 PM
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!!!! People need to take control of their actions. The stores won't open on Thanksgiving if no one shops on that day.
gina November 28, 2011 at 02:55 PM
12:00 AM is too early, those of us who work retail have no choice but to work that day. I missed most of Thanksgiving with my family due to having to go to bed in the afternoon. FYI the same prices carried through to Saturday!
Jim R November 28, 2011 at 03:13 PM
Gina, it is such people as you for whom I feel sorry. There is absolutely no reason these stores need to be open on such holidays.
Brian November 28, 2011 at 04:04 PM
I don't quite understand the knee-jerk reaction to always want to blame the business. Too fat, blame McDonald's; too skinny, blame the fashion industry; too anything else, prepare to point your fingers... If you don't want to brawl with the crowds, order online or frequent an establishment where people don't find it necessary to scratch and claw for a television. Yes, the stores should heighten security if warranted, but a little self control goes a long way. I say don't scale back Black Friday for obvious economic reasons, but people need to rein in their own psychosis... if even for a day.
Kent Frederick November 28, 2011 at 04:17 PM
This has gotten crazy. The question is who is crazier? Is it the retailers who will open earlier and earlier? Or is it the shopping public that will shop earlier and earlier? Back in the late 90s, Field's on State Street opened at 8am the day after Thanksgiving. I had to work on Friday and stopped in the store on the way from the station to the office to pick up some dress shirts and neckties that I planned to give to my father for Christmas. Knowing his shirt size and taste in shirts and ties, I spent less than 10 minutes in Men's Furnishings, because there weren't that many people in the store. My co-workers thought I was absolutely crazy for walking into the office at 8:30am with a briefcase and a green Field's bag. Now, if shopping at 8:15 am in the late 1990s was considered crazy, what it shopping at midnight on Friday or 10 pm on Thanksgiving considered?
Jim R November 28, 2011 at 04:19 PM
I agee about personal responsibility, on the other hand stores must provide crowd control since is not it crowds that they intentionally cause. These officials would hopefully retain for the police the thugs and inconsiderate people causing the problems at the store. It is not the thugs with whom I am concerned but rather the victims of their actions. At sporting events they hire people to handle some situations as should the stores. My advice would be to hire some off duty policmen to handle the crowds. The fault lies with the thugs and the stores both. Stores that do not provide added security should be fined, and those causing the problems should at minimum be fined if not jailed.
Mike Sandrolini November 28, 2011 at 04:49 PM
I can't see why retail outlets insist on being open this early in the morning on Black Friday. That said, the reports I've read and heard about over the years of people shoving each other in line, and worse, getting hurt physically to purchase an item that happens to be on sale is ridiculous. In my view, retail outlets who started this ritual are to blame as much as those who attend these Black Friday sales and can't control themselves.
MIKE November 28, 2011 at 05:01 PM
Hey everybody, turn off your television news for awhile. The vast majority of people peacefully and without violence participated in Black Friday shopping without incident. What's the big deal if some isolated incident happens. So what,
Cronan November 28, 2011 at 05:39 PM
No, people should be encouraged to dial back on their behavior! ;p Yorktown has a wonderful Black Friday morning =)
Dan Campana November 28, 2011 at 05:55 PM
There are two issues here: Whether there's a need to open so early and then the complaints from people about working those hours. Every business has the right to decide when they open or close their doors, but it's follow the leader. The trend won't ever reverse itself because it's now a proven money winner. Second, it's a head-scratcher for me as to all the employee complaints about hours. I spent eight years in retail as a part-timer in high school and college and then, briefly as a manager. I was in the store each of those years at 3 a.m. on the day after Christmas, at 4 a.m. the day after Halloween once to set up Christmas aisles and each Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve for full shifts. As a reporter, I worked holidays, too. Should these hours be a surprise to any retail worker? No. Bottom line: Your boss tells you when to work and you work it.
Keith Reily November 28, 2011 at 06:13 PM
As bad as it is getting, things are only destined to get worse. Right now you have a few, however still very dangerous situations where you have people clawing to get "luxury" items. Can you imagine what it will be like when the item people are clawing each other to get is; bread, milk, gasoline or medical services!!! The price of products and services are only going up. Yet, keep in mind there is never going to be enough jobs for as many people as the United States currently has, nevertheless the increase happening every day, not only from the masses coming here, but also from the explosion of babies being born is of course unsustainable. My wife and I have two children, TWO. We raised them, we paid for all of their expenses and we have taught them how to behave properly. We made sure we had enough money saved BEFORE they were born so we could manage on just one salary and one parent was always home with them. We raised them, not somebody else performing a job. We expected teachers to teach them the academics not social behavior, which was our responsibility. We expected the government to provide for the streets we use and defense, etc. not to clothe them, feed them, provide for their school supplies, etc. What happens after there is just not enough to give them what they want, what they believe they are just entitled to having, well the experiences you are seeing on Black Friday is just the tip of the iceberg. Pessimistic or Realistic???
Robert Bykowski November 28, 2011 at 07:06 PM
Personally, I feel if people want to shop at those times in those crowds and whatever else that's up to them. Every year you see footage of tramplings and stories of mobs, but realistically, there are probably thousands of black friday sales and stores where everything works out fine for every one store where something goes bad.
Jim Pokin November 28, 2011 at 07:50 PM
Grown-ups shouldn't feel an obligation to give each other Christmas gifts. If we could all agree to that, Christmas would be better and Thanksgiving could continue to be Thanksgiving, instead of the first day of the Big Christmas Sale. And we need an economy that doesn't rely on people running up their credit card balances in order to buy Chinese-made goods from Americans working as low-wage seasonal sales clerks.
Kathy Catrambone November 28, 2011 at 09:48 PM
Jim, you sound like a reasonable person. And thank you for the LOL.
Jamie S. November 28, 2011 at 09:57 PM
Witnessed people fighting, stealing and being rude on Black Friday. I think if stores refuse to dial back Black Friday hour, they really should provide better security. I agree with most that this medial hype is going too far. I feel that people do want to stay home, but with the economy this way, they think they should shop while the deals are good...that they don't have a lot of choices. Sacrifice and deal with crowd to buy good stuff for the children, or wait and pay more money and have less gifts? I have heard that more deals will be coming before Christmas :) Good news at least for those who stayed home and spent the time with family.
Vincent Russell November 28, 2011 at 11:27 PM
If only people would flock to churches instead of the malls, this country would be a better place.
EWS99 November 29, 2011 at 02:43 AM
Most disgusting example of GREED that exists today...on every level...retailers, individuals. Sickening.
Jo March November 29, 2011 at 05:36 PM
If the poll had asked if Black Friday has gotten out of hand, I would have said, Yes, but for expecting retailers to dial back, I say "No". They're in it to make money; it's up to consumers to use some restraint and common sense. I believe it's not so much bargain hunters that attend these too-early events, but people who like to brag about how early (or late depending on how you look at it) they went shopping. I think these people need more of a home life.
Joe Parkmoor September 18, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Amen, brother. Amen.
Joe Parkmoor September 18, 2012 at 05:30 PM
God bless you, gina. You have my sympathies. I would never go shopping on Thanksgiving day or evening. Nor would I stand in line to shop before the crack of dawn the following day. I refuse to participate it an event which essentially robs people like you of their holiday.

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