Every American is familiar with the phenomena that is the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday. Preparation for this event begins as early as planning for Thanksgiving. Stores inform consumers of their Black Friday promotions via personalized postcards and an overflow of coupons. Thousands of people camp out in tents outside of major chain stores and malls in order to secure their ownership of a sixty-inch television or the Michael Kors watch displayed in Macy’s. And once the doors open, a stampede of crazy, selfish, and motivated shoppers fill any and all places of business, clearing out stores’ inventory and their wallets.
This behavior of compulsive shopping is not limited to Black Friday; in fact, there are people who engage in this type of consumerism on a regular basis. Even during the recession that occurred, many Americans were still going to the mall and were treating themselves to retail therapy. The euphoria that shopping gives to consumers, especially in a materialistic, capitalist society, is worth charging the card and spending out of their means. This satisfaction motivates consumers to go back to the stores again. On the other hand, stores and malls allure more shoppers through sales and personal promotions. By wooing already tempted consumers, stores encourage greater shopping throughout the year. It just so happens that Black Friday makes this compulsive shopping socially acceptable.
Although Americans are spending money and consuming on a daily basis, there are many that take consumerism to a whole new level. Black Friday is the epitome of compulsive shopping.
- Are there any other occasions when compulsive consumerism is encouraged, or at its peak?
- Do you go out of your financial boundaries to purchase something? Why?