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The Dark Side of Black Friday

Graphic by: McKenna '14
Graphic by: McKenna ’14

Thanksgiving Thursday falls on Thursday, Nov. 27 this year and Black Friday the following day. Officially the kickoff to the holiday shopping season, Black Friday is known for its sales, savings, and long lines. Shoppers often camp outside stores like Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart or Marshall’s starting on Thanksgiving afternoon and wait until the shops open. Emotions run high on Black Friday, especially when shoppers begin bargain hunting at midnight. A website, Black Friday Death Count, has a running list of all injuries, accidents and deaths related to Black Friday shopping. Over the 2008 Thanksgiving weekend, one Long Island Wal-Mart employee was killed after a mob of overenthusiastic shoppers stampeded into the store and trampled him. Boundaries are crossed and limits are pushed during holiday shopping, so much so that two California women began camping outside a Beaumont Best Buy on Nov. 11, 2014. No strangers to staking out retailers for Black Friday, Vickey Torres and Juanita Salas set up camp a full 22 days before the holiday, according to CBS Local News. NPR reports that the two women take turns going home and showering, sacrificing their homes and beds in hope for a flat screen television for only $199.