November 28th, 2008


Black Friday Madness: Beginning the Holiday Shopping Season

Earlier this morning I took part in — as an employee at a Wal*Mart Super Center — the early morning sales madness known as "Black Friday", the so called beginning to the holiday shopping season. I have to say, aside from unconfirmed second-hand accounts of customer fights in lingerie, the whole deal went off without a hitch as far as I could tell. I was stationed by the really big TVs (32" LCD to 50" plasma screens) which were on a pallet in front of the shoe department and for all the tenseness I felt preceding the beginning of the sale (working in a store open 24/7 has its disadvantages), I was actually pleased with the relatively controlled chaos that went on once the black wrap was cut from the merchandise. I was only too happy to go home an hour and a half after the sale began, most of the merchandise I was guarding having been sold already and having helped a handful of customers out to their vehicles.

If the rest of the holiday shopping season goes like this, I think I wouldn't mind working in retail/grocery for at least a couple of more years. There's definitely upward mobility within most companies (especially one as large as my employer) and what little perks one gets are well worth the work to be done. One of the more promising things I noticed was how quickly people were to buy high ticket items despite the recession. I helped people out with two to four TVs, multiple Blue-Ray players, and the like. Some totals being nearly $2000, and that's just for those that I helped. I'm sure there were customers spending $2.5K-$3K easy, and this was just for the initial 5am to 11am sale. We're also concurrently having a two-day sale on several items (I don't know which items, so please don't ask) so this weekend is definitely going to prove at least partly amusing for myself.

Anyone else out there work retail on Black Friday? If so comment here and let me know your experiences.


Originally published at Ameliorations 1.0.

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