Shopping can be a very personal experience for many folks, and part of that experience centres on where, and when, you choose to shop. There is a large selection of stores to choose from, and types of stores, from big box retailers to small locally owned boutiques that focus on select items and high quality products and service.
The question here is, do you want a personal experience where you get to browse and enjoy seeing what there is to buy, or to just pop in quick, get a standard item quickly without much thought, and head back out again? What is the experience you wish to have for your holiday shopping, and on Black Friday itself?
The marketing for large retailers is mainly focused on blowout sale pricing for specific big ticket items. You will likely go see the big ticket items and potentially buy something that replaces what you already own - but you really didn't need to buy it. Other items like household and kitchen products are offered on sale, or presumed to be on sale, but their pricing may not really be that deeply discounted.
We are given the perception of a fast, exciting, cheap and easy shopping experience. But is this the reality or do we come out of it feeling more stressed than anything?
A bit of history (thanks to History.com)
The term for this modern phenomenon that happens the first shopping Friday after American Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday of November) sources from Philadelphia. In the 1950s, Philadelphian police officers called the day after Thanksgiving "Black Friday" because they had to work overtime and absolutely could not take the day off. Why? The following Saturday was the annual Army-Navy football match, and everyone from the suburbs, plus tourists too, were pouring into the city for the big game. This influx of folks came with the intent of doing their holiday Christmas shopping while in the city, so the stores were flooded with shoppers. And shoplifters too, as they were taking advantage of the chaos in the stores to make off with merchandise. This added to the Philadelphian police officer's headaches on Black Friday. By 1961, the concept of "Black Friday" spread in popularity across all of Philadelphia and eventually across the U.S.
In the late 1980s, retailers were looking to remake the image of Black Friday, and began to introduce the story of turning "red to black"; the concept is of retailers running in the red (losing money) all year until Black Friday, where they finally begin to turn a profit due to the large volume of holiday shoppers. This circumstance could be real for some retailers, but to use this concept as a blanket to rebrand what is likely the biggest shopping day of the year could be a stretch.
So back to our modern Black Friday. It is going to be busy, that is a given, but do you need to head out to big box stores in order to save money while you shop? Actually you don't!
Edmonton's Locally Owned Stores & Boutiques
There are locally owned options to head out to shop this Black Friday, where you can enjoy their discounts and unique experiences. Many of Edmonton's small shops and boutiques carry well known brand name products. They are also more likely to carry higher quality, lesser known brands that will satisfy your household needs. You will likely find pricing of items to be very comparable to big box stores, and discounts that match what the big stores are offering. Except you are in a cosy environment, likely being taken care of by the owner of the store, or a staff person who works closely with the owner. Questions you ask are answered, and you are likely to find something wonderfully charming that is perfect for your Grandma's Christmas present.
With the amazing discounts being offered for Black Friday shopping, you get a lovely and very fair price for everything that you purchased - because you found what you needed, and didn't get redirected to buy something that you really didn't need. You get to shop sale pricing on quality items. You might also stop by one of the local coffee shops for a tasty treat and discover a new favourite. You feel a sense of community and a sense of being seen, heard and taken care of. Once you are done shopping, you head home with a warm feeling of satisfaction.
Heart of the Home is a locally owned small business that has been open in the High Street boutique shopping district since 2016. Our focus is to provide a personalized shopping experience with skilled and friendly staff. We curate our products for quality and relevance, with an eye towards providing lots of different ecologically friendly products so that you can feel great about what you use in your home. If you are stuck for a unique gift to give to a family member or friend, you will find something lovely to suit on our shelves. Just ask and we can help out with some ideas! We also stock items that are made by local artisans, so while you are shopping for yourself this Black Friday, you can also take a look at a wide variety of kitchen, housewares, and personal care items that will check off purchases from your gift buying list.
Choose to shop local this Black Friday, experiencing a much more personalized and pleasurable shopping experience, while also supporting Edmonton's local business owners! And you will still be saving lots of money on your shopping!