The Norman Transcript

Business

November 25, 2012

Why must we buy?Black Friday holds powerful sway over shoppers

BEAVER FALLS, Pa. — Gravy was still warm. Dallas Cowboys were still in uniform. Thanks were still being given across the country as the pilgrimages to the stores began, heralding a new era of American consumerism.

Lured by earlier-than-ever Black Friday sales, people left Grandma and Grandpa in search of Samsung and Toshiba. They did not go blindly: In dozens of interviews, people acknowledged how spending has become inseparable from the holidays. Older folks pined for the days of Erector Sets and Thumbelinas while in line to pay iPad prices. Even some younger shoppers said it felt wrong to be spending money instead of quality time on Thanksgiving.

“But we’re still out here,” said Kelly Jackson, a paralegal who was standing inside a Best Buy store in the Pittsburgh suburbs, a 32-inch television ($189) in her cart. It was a consolation prize: Despite four hours on line, she missed the cheaper 40-inchers ($179) that she had heard about while listening to Internet radio.

Jackson’s resignation was common among those who flocked to capitalism’s temples for the consumer equivalent of genuflecting. Many said that this Black Friday bled into Thursday crossed a line, that merchants should not intrude like this. Christmas is about the message of Jesus, the feeling went — not about the gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Yet amid these protests, people still talked about feeling powerless beneath the moment — as if they had no choice but to shop.

“You have to have these things to enjoy your children and your family,” said Jackson’s friend Ebony Jones, who had secured two laptops ($187.99 each) for her 7- and 11-year-olds.

Why must we buy? To demonstrate our love for others? To add a few more inches to our televisions? To help America recover from a vicious recession that itself was born of the desire for more?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business
  • Chamber Banquet During annual banquet, Chamber of Commerce promotes moving Norman forward

    Amidst the backdrop of music, dancing, dinner and fellowship, business leader Mike Fowler announced that the time for a quality-of-life initiative in Norman has come. As incoming Norman Chamber of Commerce board chairman, Fowler and ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Women leaders announced

    The Norman Chamber announced the nominees for the 2014 Women’s Leadership Award, which honors female leaders who actively inspire other women to achieve their full potential.  Past recipients of this honor, formerly known as the ATHENA ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Norman use tax takes a hit while Moore sales tax flounders

    Norman use tax took a hit this month while Moore’s sales tax floundered for the first time since sales picked up in the post-tornado recovery period. For the city of Norman, however, sales tax collections are a bright spot on the revenue ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Nextep moves back to Dillard Building, but this time with much larger presence

    In 1997, entrepreneur Brian Fayak was just getting Nextep Inc., a professional employer service, started. Fayak had been working out of his sister’s house in west Norman and was delighted when the opportunity came to rent an executive ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Spotlight

    Chiropractic award Megan Borne, a chiropractic assistant at Sparks Clinic of Chiropractic in Norman, was recently awarded the title of C.A. counselor with the Pinnacle Chiropractic Management Group. She will assist other chiropractic ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Primrose presents Leadership class grads

    On Tuesday, the Norman Chamber of Commerce graduated both Leadership Norman and Tomorrow’s Leaders. Over the past several months, participants attended interactive sessions covering a variety of topics including communication, education, ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Business and restaurant survey online now

    The city of Norman is seeking input from its residents about retail shopping and restaurant opportunities that they would like to see locate to Norman. On Thursday, the city published a link to an online retail and restaurant survey on ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Norman Nation

    In 1964, when my father was a University of Oklahoma student, he and my mother were in desperation car shopping mode because their vehicle had just died. As the story has been told for nearly 50 years, the Ford dealership had not opened ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Spring cleaning: Time to change passwords again

    Are you in the habit of regularly changing the passwords for your online accounts? You should be — changing passwords regularly is a required part of every wise Internet user’s safety routine....

    April 13, 2014

  • Regional partnerships build prosperity

    Job creators shop for sites, regional marketing professionals told Norman’s Economic Development Advisory Board on Thursday. That makes selling the central Oklahoma region with its diversity of site options and amenities a business savvy ...

    April 6, 2014