When the clock strikes midnight, Pre-Black-Friday-Thanksgiving Malliday 2012 shopping officially ends and the official traditional Black Friday 2012 sales begin. If you're one of the millions who just wants a complete list of Black Friday store opening times and hours, here's your links...
If Black Friday 2012 has put you into a state of frustration or confusion, you are definitely not alone. I'm not saying that keeping shoppers off balance, in a state of uncertainty, and making it as difficult as possible for people to make logical Black Friday shopping decisions was the intention of the U.S. retail leaders, but if it wasn't intentional, then the marketing teams of some of the largest U.S. retail chains should find themselves on Santa's naughty list. Black Friday 2012 has not been very nice. Or easy. Or sane.
How difficult could it be for shoppers to know Black Friday store opening times and hours? Apparently this is a question that many retail leaders have asked and answered quite well for Black Friday 2012.
The day before the legendary biggest shopping day of the season, it is impossible to locate Black Friday opening times or store hours for retail chains like CompUSA, Jo-Ann Fabrics, CVS, and Dillard's on their websites. No one ever thought that it would be a good idea to put Black Friday store opening times and hours on the website home page?
"What time our store opens on Black Friday" is just a minor forgotten detail lost in a sea of Pre-Black Friday one-day-only-deal-of-the-day-Black-Friday-now-why-wait-throw-it-against-the-wall-to-see-if-it-sells marketing mishmash that's been happening as the lead-in to Black Friday 2012. Considering the general retailing atmosphere of the Christmas holiday shopping season so far, it might be possible that some retailers still don't know when they're opening their stores on Black Friday... or pre-Black Friday Thanksgiving Day... or the day after Thanksgiving... or whatever we're calling the retail phenomenon on November 23, 2012.
Which stores are open Thanksgiving Day? Which stores will be staying opening continuously from Thanksgiving to Black Friday? Which stores are open on Thanksgiving, closing late, and then re-opening early on Black Friday? These were not easy questions to answer in 2012.
And then there's the mall stores. More than 60 malls are open for shopping on Thanksgiving. More than 100 malls will be opening at midnight on Black Friday. More than 600 retail chains have stores in these malls. But do we know which of these mall retail stores are open and what their store hours will be? Not without exhaustive research. I would think if you're going to make the effort to open your retail store in the middle of the night, you would want some shoppers to know what time to show up for the party.
And that doesn't even address the confusion surrounding Black Friday deals and discounts. The same things advertised in Black Friday advertisements were available on websites days and even weeks before. Which is fine for the shoppers who have already purchased them.
But doesn't that also mean that dark o'thirty Black Friday shoppers are going to be showing up in stores to purchase "while supplies last" deals that were sold out long ago? Isn't there some kind of truth in advertising issue with publishing November 23rd deals and discounts and then randomly changing the rules after the ink is dry on the Black Friday advertising flyer?
It's like we are observing the Retail Quantum Chaos Theory in action - an apparent randomness that results from the interactions inside of a complex system which is so sensitive to changes in conditions that slight alterations can create huge consequences. Sound familiar?
Whatever Black Friday used to be, it is that no more. And it will be interesting to see how shoppers respond to retailers changing the rules of an extremely popular Black Friday game. When Pre-Black Friday Thanksgiving Day shopping ends, are shoppers going to crowd into Best Buy, Macy's and 600-something other Black Friday midnight madness retail sales? My prediction is that retailers have diluted the magnetic force of Black Friday so much this year that there is going to be much Black Friday 2012 disappointment on both sides of the retail equation.
Having said that, there are still plenty of people who will be carrying on the Black Friday shopping tradition on November 23, 2012. If you're still planning to play, here's some key information that you might want to know...
More About Thanksgiving Day, Pre-Black Friday, and Black Friday Store Hours and Deals:
- Complete List of 200+ Retail Chains Open Thanksgiving Day 2012
- Wal-Mart's Thanksgiving Day Pre-Black Friday 2012 Deals and Discounts
- Complete Midnight Mall Black Friday Hours List
- All Black Friday Store Hours