Coming (Too?) Soon: Black Friday Sales

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

With sales starting even earlier this year, many on Thanksgiving Day, Daniel Gross, columnist and economics editor for Yahoo! Finance, talks about the 'Black Friday creep.' Plus, a look at holiday sales forecasts and seasonal employment. 


Daniel Gross

Comments [8]

April from Manhattan

I really appreciate the segment on Black Friday online. Not only is it an abomination to have black Friday early online, but I just learned from one of your guests that "less staffing is required" for sales online. has led to the disappearance of bookstores in New York and the rest of the country. When I moved to New York in 1979, almost every block on midtown 5th Avenue was entirely filled with a publisher's bookstore. There were independent bookstores, rare book stores, foreign language book stores, used bookstores, wonderful, old, historic bookstores such as Gotham books in the diamond district. In my neighborhood, the UWS, Endicott and Shakespeare and Co. were one and three blocks away.. They instantly disappeared when Barnes and Noble moved in, with what I knew would be an ephemeral 20% off on hardbacks. Now some B&N will soon go out of business too. Libraries are in trouble, days open eliminated. Branches closed. The greenest way to read is a paper book from a library. Reuse IS recycling. Reading on Nooks, etc. use rare metals, materials shipped from all over the world, then, when fashion in gizmos change and one must have the latest, they end up toxic in landfills. What's the good news about this for workers? How many jobs to sell a book at Amazon compared to B&N? No one seems to care enough to research that, but one of your guests made it clear that there is a discrepancy, Young folks seem to know this. Most others don't. And don't seem to care. If no one has a job, how will s/he buy anything anywhere?

Nov. 24 2010 11:42 AM

A photographer I know is concerned about losing his staff newspaper job as the paper consolidates resources and slashes staffing. He's a little jittery, but has been building up his wedding photography business. He's shot one wedding a month this year while still at the paper. So, while his longtime staff job may disappear, he's grooming himself to transition directly into a business of his own.

Nov. 24 2010 11:31 AM

What a shock that Wall Street-tethered areas and business are doing well.

The US has seen a massive transfer -- the largest in human history -- of wealth from poor and middle classes to the rich.... All to re-inflate the bubble, which is exactly what Paul Krugman and others were warning about in 2008 and 2009.

If there is some modest reinflation of the bubble now, it will burst. The one thing we can be sure of is that Wall Street slaves in Congress and the Obama administration will work to insulate the wealthiest from any negative consequences.

Nov. 24 2010 11:23 AM
Andy from Brooklyn

Thanksgiving - what I consider the one true holiday, not really tied to a religion or war or any particular nationalist agenda, is one that we should get behind as the "all about family and togetherness" because lets be honest, that's not what Christmas is. Please let the Christmas shopping insanity start AFTER thanksgiving?

Nov. 24 2010 11:20 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

No recovery. Many houses for rent--owners trying to forestall foreclosure. Small shops closing.

Nov. 24 2010 11:20 AM
Diana from Manhattan

what I don´t like about online shopping is if it can hurt local stores. I would hate to see my neighborhood lose its livelihood and energy in the future because of this competition.

Nov. 24 2010 11:17 AM
Lynn from New York, NY

Online everything is our new way of life for the foreseeable future. It's not an abomination. Anyone who's worried about it interferring with their turkey day can abstain. Meanwhile in this crummy economy, it makes shopping cheaper and more efficient, and gives families more bang for their buck!

Nov. 24 2010 11:15 AM
Maria from Manhattan

I think the online sales are ok, but it breaks my heart to see Walmart advertising proudly that they are open all day on Thanksgiving.

People get so few days off in this country already, can't they (Walmart) just rein in their greed for one day and let their overworked, underpaid staff a few precious hours off work to be with family, friends or on their own getting some well deserved rest?

It's bad enough Tarjhay (which I love) is opening Friday at 4am, as that will no doubt eat into the time their staff can celebrate Thanksgiving.

Nov. 24 2010 11:13 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.