Friday, November 25, 2011

How Walmart Ruined Black Friday

I have to admit, I am one of those crazy people who go out shopping on Black Friday.  As the kids have gotten older, there has been less on their list that were hard to find or big on the "must have" list, but I enjoy going out and hunting down a bargain.

Part of the fun was going out in the wee hours of the morning, meeting up with friends and hitting Walmart first, at 5 a.m., then Target at around 7 a.m. and then the mall.  Well this year, Walmart decided that they were going to be open all day and night on Thanksgiving so that there would be no waiting outside in a line (or mob) and sales would start at 10 pm on Thanksgiving night.  Okay, fine, I'm on board.  I have to work today so going out shopping at night seemed like a good idea.

It so was NOT.

I arrived at the Walmart at around 9:20 pm.  I was parked at the very back of the lot.  Not a good sign.  When I got to the door, there were no carts.  I searched around inside near customer service and finally found one.  My main goal was a bike.  So, back I go to the bike department.  It took me 20 minutes to get from the front of the store to the back.  Once there, I looked for the bike that was on sale, and it was not there.  Okay, fine, I was mentally prepared for that.  It was 9:50 and so I decided to go and position myself for some of the other minor items I wanted and let me tell you, I have never in my life seen a mob scene like I witnessed at that time.  For whatever reason, people started tearing down the black plastic that was wrapped around the "sale" items - it wasn't supposed to happen until 10.  Employees just stood back and watched because the mentality of the crowd was insane.

It took my 45 minutes to reach the front of the store!  

I did eventually find the bike - in the PRODUCE department!  I was fortunate to find two gentleman (shoppers, not employees!) who helped me get the large box in to my cart.  I went directly to check out because there was no way I would be able to continue shopping like that.  I paid and walked out, walking passed about a dozen Walmart MALE employees who saw me walking out alone with this giant box, and not one of them offered to help me!  At my car I was struggling to get the darn thing in when a fellow lone female shopper came and helped me.  Thank GOD!  

Then stupidly I went BACK inside to attempt to get a few other items.  I spent another hour there, got four things, and then headed over to Target.  And let me just say that other stores (ie - Walmart) should learn from Target.  They did not open their doors until midnight.  There was a line that wrapped around the building.  They only opened doors on one side of the store and the entire story front was barricaded.  You had to be on the line to get in, and they let people in in 30 people increments to keep it from being a mob scene.  There were security and police on hand to keep everyone in control.  The store was set up NORMALLY with a few random "special item" displays set up in other departments.  I bought a LOT there.

I was home by 1:30 a.m. and in bed by two.  

I think that opening the stores at midnight (or before) is a horrible idea.  It was insanity.  It's not fair to the employees.  And mostly, it just makes people mean.  This will be my last Black Friday endeavor.  It's just too much of a hassle.  I think that had Walmart not said that they were opening early, most of the other stores would have kept to their 5 a.m. schedule.  

Greed is not a good thing, Walmart, and for all of my own stupidity, the experience was totally not worth it.


Da Dude said...

Walmart? I thought it was the news media. For the past several weeks that's all you heard on the news. How black Friday would affect the economy. Black Friday this.. Black Friday that.. The media hyped it up more than it should have been. All I want to know is, did it boost the economy?

Unknown said...

I agree. I've went to Wal-Mart in the past and it was never this bad. Maybe that was because fewer people would venture out for 5am. I have skipped this 12am and now 10pm mad houses. I heard there was fighting at my local WM over the towels and sheets. Now who fights over such silly items? Seriously these items aren't that outrageous on a regular day. I just don't get some people.

Instead I left my house, fully rested, at 9am and still found the majority of what I wanted. There were crowds but not the same and people were very helpful and would look for a size you needed. I did the same for others. It was much nicer and I still left happy. The checkouts were super quick and I didn't encounter one line.

Petula said...

Sigh! That's exactly why I haven't been to the store AT.ALL. Craziness.