Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

November 23, 2012

What We Think: The business of holiday business

-- — One of the funniest and most insightful email and Facebook posts making the rounds the past few days has been one stating, “Black Friday: Because only in America, people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.”

Yes, as people made the rounds with stores opening Thanksgiving night and first thing this morning, as the videos from across the country likely appear of people stampeding people to be the first in a store, as the shopping frenzy leads to doubts about the reason for the season, this post has a lot of meaning.

Yet, it misses one major point.

The Christmas season gives many stores from large chains to small businesses to e-businesses much to be thankful for. Christmas is retail America’s largest time of the year. Holiday shopping represents a major slice of business income.

Today, of course, marks what has come to be known as Black Friday. One of the definitions of Black Friday is that it is the day when retailers begin to show a profit, or when their books move from the red into the black.

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday when shoppers are asked to shop at their local small businesses to purchase often unique Christmas gifts for family and friends.

Cyber Monday is next week. Traditionally, the Monday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday, this day promotes Internet sales. Though for many consumers, every day is a cyber day. Some e-tailers even promoted this past Monday as an early-bird version of Cyber Monday.

So, we hope that everyone’s shopping goes well, that people find what they seek, without frenzy, and without forgetting the reason behind the season. But if things do become hectic today and in the weeks to come, just remember that more shopping means more reasons for businesses and their employees to give thanks.

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