Hack Black Friday

By Madge Slack

Black Friday is a well-known and frequently practiced tradition in Utah and most of America. To many, it is almost as anticipated as Thanksgiving. Contrary to popular belief, Black Friday is actually even older than the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Since the 19th-century, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been considered the unofficial start of Christmas and therefore Christmas shopping.

“Historically shoppers did half their holiday shopping on Black Friday,” according to The Balance.

At the time it wasn’t called Black Friday. According to HISTORY, the term was coined in 1961 when Philadelphia police started using it due to the holiday traffic and crowds of people.  There are many ugly Black Friday myths explaining the name in more interesting ways. One of the rumors is that Black Friday is black because it is when retailers make a profit and are “in the black” as opposed to “in the red” the rest of the year.

This history is unimportant now. What really matters is how to make the most of Black Friday today. The first step is to enjoy your Thanksgiving since Black Friday begins the following day. Next, let’s talk store hours.

City Creek Center has extended its hours for the occasion. The shopping center will be open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Macy’s will be open from 5 p.m. Thursday to 2 a.m. Friday, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Nordstrom hasn’t posted official hours yet, but online sales begin Thursday. For those less interested in clothing stores, places like Michaels will also be joining Black Friday sales along with nearly every other store in Utah.

Now that we know when Black Friday is happening, let’s talk about the best way to hack it. First, it was named for its horrific traffic, so I strongly suggest taking TRAX or the bus. Whether you take public transportation or drive, go as early as possible. Stores are normally most calm and easiest to shop at between 5-7 a.m. because no one wants to get up that early, and those who stayed up late to shop have gone home. Don’t worry about your size being sold out. Most stores will order your size and you can still pay the sale price, so just be patient.

Also, consider bringing a reusable bag that you can put over your shoulder. Not only will it save your taking home numerous plastic bags, but you will have a much easier time hauling around your newfound treasures.

Lastly, credit card fraud is at its highest on Black Friday, according to the Chain Store Age (CSA). Consider taking cash instead of cards. If you do, be sure to withdraw money on Wednesday or Tuesday as banks will be closed Thursday. Using cash is an added bonus because it is easier to stick to a budget holding hard cash than an endless magic of credit.

Black Friday is fun — it’s a day of shopping and splurging that even helps you work off that turkey from the day before. Grab some friends and live it up, but be sure to plan ahead and take precautions.

[email protected]