Image of the First Thanksgiving Will a creeping Black Friday ruin one of America's most beloved traditions?
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Black Friday traditionally refers to the Friday following Thanksgiving and is often regarded as the official start of the holiday shopping season. Shoppers seeking bargains come out in droves and help retailers boost their bottom line. In recent years, major retail stores have begun opening their doors earlier and earlier to hordes of shoppers motivated by door-buster deals. And in 2013, retailers are setting a new normal — Black Thursday is becoming the new Black Friday.

For many years, it was standard for retailers to open at 6:00 a.m. on Black Friday. In the late 2000s, retailers began toying with earlier times. But two years ago, a new extreme was set when stores like Target, Kohl’s Macy’s and Best Buy opened at midnight for the first time. And then last year, Wal-Mart announced that it would begin its Black Friday sales at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Black Friday had officially crept into Thursday.

What has been coined as “Black Friday creep” will continue into the 2013 holiday season as most other retail stores are following Wal-Mart’s lead. Shoppers may have to pass on pumpkin pie after they’ve finished their turkey and stuffing to find Black Friday Black Thursday bargains.

Big-box retailers say they are responding to consumer demand. But are they going too far? Thanksgiving is a time-honored and treasured American tradition. Though, what we consider to be the “First Thanksgiving” took place nearly 400 years ago in 1621, it wasn’t an annual tradition until 1863 when it was proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise” by President Lincoln.

Will Americans be receptive to retailers encroaching on one of the most beloved holidays? Only time will tell, but trends suggest they will. Black Friday spending is estimated to top $600 billion this year. However, the push to open earlier in 2013 has led to several online petitions aimed at curbing the creep, as many people — shoppers and retail employees alike — feel as though Thanksgiving is a time to be spent with family.

Regardless of what you decide is best for you and your family this year, we at Hapari have decided to offer you Black Friday bargains without the hassle. No lines or crowds. No missed time with the family. Just online shopping at your leisure for great deals, which have been announced on the  official Hapari Facebook page and will be available through December 2.

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