November 30, 2005

My First Black Friday

So having slept through black friday last year, I was very excited about taking part in the festivities this year. I have the image of Veronica and Betty waiting ready to break into the store and charge in my head. This year for thanksgiving break I went to San Francisco, where my hotel was at the prime shopping location a block away from Saks and Macy's and above BCBG-what more does one need?

That morning on the TV, we saw people in NY and other places rushing into stores, fighting over each other to shop, armed with plans on where to shop and all. It looked really exciting! Figuring I had a head start from everyone since we were so close, we sat down had breakfast on the day and went out at 9am. But before we even got out the door we were flooded with hotel guests RETURNING loaded with bags (mostly from Macy's) like the woman above. Except the bags are red and real people obviously do not shop with grace and poise.

So I hurried out to Macy's and was struck by the amount of people. I looked around at the things I'd previously scouted expecting to see a dramatically reduced price tag-and was stopped short. They weren't on sale! Nothing I had my eye on was on sale. What were these people BUYING? Whats the point of braving the crowd when you could've bought these on winter sale on normal days? So I, somewhat disappointedly, scouted other places and ended up with a cashmere pink Ralph Lauren sweater and Coach loafers and heels. But it wasn't anything on mega sale, just the usual winter sale prices.

The best deal I got that day was from the last place I'd imagined- Neiman Marcus! They had this addition 30% off already on sale items. And it was awesome, because they had Marc by Marc Jacobs and all these other really awesome stuff on sale! I managed to get a red velvet jacket from Cynthia Steffe and a purple shirt from Velvet. But again, this happened all weekend long-so it wasn't necessary to wake up too early on black friday to get to it- although sizes and styles DO run out.

Overall my black friday was an interesting experience. A little disappointing due to the lack of mega sales. A little confusing as to why its such a big deal. But very interesting to see so many people out on the streets determined to shop. It is a rare sight indeed.

Oh and one last question. Why is the biggest shopping day of the year called "black friday"??

19 Comments:

Blogger La Dulcinea said...

La Dulcinea, she believes that "Black Friday" refers to the black ink that people used to record profits (rather than red ink to record losses) in their ledgers (so, you want to stay "out of the red"). Since it is a big shopping day, store owners turn profits! But, La Dulcinea also believes that "Black Friday is a very ironic term, because that day is so hectic with all the crazy shoppers!

By the way, did you hear about how all those people were lining up at Wal-Marts everywhere for like 12 hours, just to buy the new XBox? And there were even people, like little old ladies, who were trampled, and people who were robbed of their XBoxes right after they bought them? CRAZY.

11/29/2005 11:46 PM  
Anonymous So Fain said...

"Black Friday" is a term coined by retail workers and salespeople. If you have ever worked retail, then you know this is a very old phrase... While Black Friday is much fun for shoppers (for the most part) it is a brutal day for retail workers. It's the longest, most stressful day of the year.

11/30/2005 12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think people just shop frantically without considering whether it really is a deal. Most of the time, the same prices can be had with a Macy's sale and coupon.

11/30/2005 12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

La Dulcinea is correct. Black Friday refers to retail companies moving into "the Black" meaning that their year is now profitable. Regarding the WalMart incident, it turns out that they were advertising a $398 laptop computer, and many stores only had one or two, which is why there is video of people beating the s#!$ out of each other to get to the door...

11/30/2005 1:12 AM  
Blogger Henri-V said...

The Neiman Marcus in San Francisco is a jewel for sales. My mum and I were in SF over the summer and happened into huge pre-fall clearances ... designer jeans for around $60, DVF tops for about the same. Good job with your finds! (P.S. - Were you at the Westin St. Francis? Was your room okay?)

Great blog.

11/30/2005 3:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i bought coach loafers over the thanksgiving weekend too.. hahaha..

11/30/2005 5:48 AM  
Blogger Barneys Girl said...

La Dulcinea + anonymous: Thanks. Now I know the story behind black friday. And was it the new xbox and super cheap laptop? I was wondering what those crazy people were doing braving the crowd, fighting over each other.

So Fain: retail workers have my condolences. the shoppers were crazy! and 5am in the morning is insane.

Henri-V: Yup, the westin st francis. such prime location. my room was nice. bigger then the suite at the palace hotel. and i hear its cheaper then the palace hotel too.

anonymous: LOL. great minds think alike. another friend of mine also bought loafers during thanksgiving. we can start a club ;)

11/30/2005 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was my first Black Friday too and I just had to check out the Woodbury Common outlets my friends were raving about.... and i got the best bargain of my life! I bought two Gucci suede skirts (Sp 02) for $69 each...before the additional 25%off! I was still in shock as I went to the counter since their original retail price was $1720...I know it might be a few years old, but hey...they're from the Tom Ford era...even better!

12/01/2005 1:11 PM  
Blogger Barneys Girl said...

Ooo good find! Where is woodbury commons again? I was obviously at the wrong place at the wrong time.

12/02/2005 5:33 AM  
Anonymous Katie said...

"Black Friday" is a reference to "being in the black", but (as a person who works in retail) it is also used because it really really really really sucks to work in a store that day. It is miserable and I totally appreciate people who *don't* shop that day. When I don't work it, I never ever do. It's too crazy and never worth it. I can find better deals with a little work and a hell of a lot less stress.

12/02/2005 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its up in New Jersey... like an hour's bus ride from Manhatten...

12/02/2005 3:17 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG, I've just noticed that stores will open earlier than last year in Black Friday! Have you watched this news which show the stores' schedule for Black Friday? http://www.weshow.com/us/p/24241/earlier_black_friday Very useful... They also say that 25% American will spend even more than last year in Black Friday. I'll certainly do! I can't wait to this day.

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