Many years ago my mother, who had just returned from the US, told me how a woman had been trampled to death in a shopping mall during Black Friday. I could not believe it.
A friend of mine told me a few years ago people were camped in front of a shopping mall not far from his home, with caravans and all that jazz, to wait for the opening hour. I could not believe it.
Earlier this month newspapers reported one of the first cases of "shopping stampede" in Europe, in Rome to be more specific, when a consumer electronics mega-store had a promotional sale. I could not believe it.
Maybe it's because I am basically an inbred hillbilly living in hick country but I just fail to understand these things. People beating each other over a videogame they'll also have to pay? What has the world come to?
Now do you all see the horror of capitalism?
There is a way to capitalize on Black Friday from an entrepreneurial aspect. Some time ago my brother had the idea of selling cups of coffee and doughnuts to those waiting for hours in line. We never got around to doing it (not doing it just seemed to feel better than standing in the cold at 3, 4, 6 am).
Some stores have avoided that by simply staying open (which, for Walmart isn't out of the ordinary anyway, as most of them are 24 hours anyway)...
(listen during the end)...
Black Friday has grown in direct correlation with the centralization and monopolization of the economy. Lines of consumers beating each other to death for the opportunity to buy your product... that's the monopolist's wet dream.
I went to a big box electronics store at midnight on friday. 'Waited in line for an hour (the line was already wrapped around the building when I got there at 11, and kept growing until it wrapped around the parking lot too.) The deals were bullshit and you could barely move through the store. There was some cheap memory that I would have purchased, but waiting 2 hours in the check-out line at 1 AM wasn't something I was willing to do to save $30. I thought these places would have put out an extra effort to compete with online vendors, but they didn't. There's really no reason to go to these things anymore, Amazon, Newegg, and TigerDirect have WAY better selection and deals that they've been constantly rotating all week. I did get some really cheap pants from Kohl's though, so it wasn't a complete loss.
That plus it seems that more and more people nowadays have a really high time preference.
To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."
Black Friday is starting earlier and earlier because of competition. I remember when it began at the time which the stores opened regularly. Then it went to 6AM, then midnight, and now it starts on Thrusday. Pretty soon, it will start in July. That is the market process; not people being forced into risking life and limb for a 3D HTDV that they can barely afford.
That is the market process; not people being forced into risking life and limb for a 3D HTDV that they can barely afford.
Sounds like a Keynesian's wet dream, all that money being spent as soon as it is earned. Oooh the velocity of that money! What the people could do to make it even better is digg a few holes and fill them back again as they wait in lines. No standing about when you could be boosting the economy!
"Mass consumerism" is the result of the state. The state enables overproduction which in turn leads to businesses having to advertise to sell enough so they break even.
A lot of it is malinvestment caused by state intervention. The state distorts prices, so it's really difficult to know what the market wants--does it want more 3D HDTVs or more food, and does it want it now or in five years?