The Holiday Rush Starts Now! A guide to surviving the busiest shopping day of the year

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By Kelsey Cardace

You just finished stuffing yourself with turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, and your stomach is churning. Sadly, there’s no time to relax. It’s time to hit the stores to score major deals!

Black Friday is the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season. It’s the busiest shopping day of the year, characterized by uncontrollable crowds fighting over low-priced electronics, toys, and so many other items. 37% of Americans are expected to hit the stores this year.

Many people wonder why so many people seemingly go insane and buy things that are available any other day of the year. Sophomore education major Danielle Altieri explains, “I don’t go Black Friday shopping because it’s too crazy and people are maniacs about it.”

At the same time, 57% of Black Friday shoppers consider it a fun experience. Max An, a freshman biochemistry major who enjoys participating in the annual chaos, reveals, “As long as you look at the ads and know what you want, it’s not that bad. I even know some people who map out the store for what they need.”

For those looking to avoid the holiday hustle and bustle, many Black Friday sales apply to online shopping as well. Last year, 139.4 million Americans visited store websites over the 4-day Thanksgiving weekend. Stores are making this strategy even more enticing with online specials such as Walmart’s guarantee of free shipping when you spend $50.

Retailers try to attract more and more people to the Black Friday craze, feeling constant pressure to improve their numbers from previous years. An anonymous Target manager says, “each year, our goal is to increase sales from the previous year by 3%. This year, Target stores are opening earlier to make this happen.”

With the pressure to maximize profits looming, stores are competing to open earlier than ever. Toys ‘R’ Us will open at 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day. Apparently buying toys is more important than eating dinner. Kmart, whose doors will open at 6 AM Thanksgiving morning, has received a lot of criticism this year from angry shoppers, who claim that making workers come in on a holiday is inexcusable.

For students staying in College Park for the holiday, Target and Walmart in Hyattsville are definitely places to check out for Black Friday deals. And while you’re getting your holiday shopping done, stop by Value Village in Hyattsville to pick up the perfect ugly Christmas sweater before they’re gone.

Whether you are looking for a TV to complete your dorm room, winter gear to survive campus snowstorms, or movies to snuggle up to with your significant other, there is no better day than Black Friday to score the best deals on these college must-haves.


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