I don’t want to give the impression that my issue is with consumers gone wild, or the mania of a good mob. I think both of those things have helped, but I blame retail. Big retailers employ several strategies to drive business on Black Friday. They offer huge deals on exciting products, but limit the quantities. They leak or announce their sales early to get people excited, and they encourage camping outside the store by rewarding first-come with first-deals. Finally, retailers are starting to take lessons from Wal-Mart and opening earlier, with many big box stores opening at midnight. This is an elegant solution to the problem of employees spending time with their families.
Yes, I am a big grump, and yes, I do work retail, but there is a real problem here. We seem to have lost our damn minds over the sale price of low-end electronics. There are some real deals to be had, but for the love of Buffy, most of them are available online. So, please help a poor retail worker next year; do your Christmas shopping online. If preventing assaults at Wal-Mart isn’t enough, you can shop in your underwear.