By Taylor Dressel
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when people can go out to the stores at ungodly hours of the morning and get deals for their holiday shopping. However, Black Friday is not what it used to be.
Many stores are now opening late on Thanksgiving instead of early in the morning on Black Friday. This means employees are unable to spend time with their families on Thanksgiving.
Alyssa Smith, a student at Youngstown State University, works at an entertainment store at the Eastwood Mall in Niles, Ohio.
“I’ve worked there for about a year now. Last year was my first year working on Black Friday and I opened, so it was pretty crazy,” Smith said.
Although it is crazy, Smith also finds it amusing.
“Watching people rummage through everything and fighting never gets old,” Smith said.
This year, the Eastwood Mall opens at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and closes at 1 a.m. The mall reopens at 6 a.m. the next morning on actual Black Friday and then will close again at 10 p.m.
“I think it is going to be even busier than last year because of all the nice weather we have been having,” Smith said. “In regards to my store, I think we will do a lot better because all of the people that were new last year are a lot more experienced and prepared for the chaos.”
Seth Gaines, a student at YSU, works for a vitamin store and expects his work to be chaotic again this year.
“This year, I expect it to be the same as it has always been,” Gaines said. “[There’s] nowhere to park at the mall.”
A popular argument is whether or not stores should be opened on Thanksgiving or not.
“I think black Friday should be left for the actual Friday after Thanksgiving,” Smith said. “It’s not fair for employees to be taken away from their families so others can shop.”
Gains also thinks stores should remain closed on Thanksgiving.
“I think it is absolutely insane that there’s a need to be open as early as required,” Gaines said. “Select stores I somewhat understand but I believe that there is no need to be open on Thanksgiving for sales that are solely marketed for the day after the holiday.”
However, there are a few stores that are remaining closed on Thanksgiving. Bed, Bath and Beyond (Boardman, OH) will be closed on Thanksgiving. GameStop (Eastwood Mall), will also be closed on Thanksgiving and will open on Black Friday at 5 a.m. Sam’s Club (Niles, OH), will also not open until Black Friday. Sam’s Club opens at 7 a.m.
“Black Friday is meant to be fun and festive, but it’s become a competition between stores,” Smith said. “I’m hoping within the next few years it goes back to opening stores at midnight even. Six o’clock on Thanksgiving is just way too early in my opinion.”