Black Friday: Is It Really Worth The Hassle?

Several retail stores have announced they will open their doors on Thanksgiving Day this year, allowing customers to get a head start on their holiday shopping.

Monongalia County Commission President Eldon Callen remembers how the holidays used to be.

"On Thanksgiving Day we all had, I'm talking about 50 people, all around the table, all giving thanks, and spending time with one another," he said.

Thanksgiving Day used to be a day to spend with family. Now, stores are using it as a time to invite shoppers in for some early deals.

"This year we have all of our department stores opening up at 8 p.m. Thursday night. Several stores in the mall are opening at 8 p.m. The mall officially opens at midnight where all of our stores will be open. It's become an event now and it starts a lot earlier then it used to," said Marcello Lalama, Meadowbrook Mall Property manager.

This is something Callen does not agree with at all.

"It was quoted saying, 'That's when people want to come out and shop'. That is garbage," Callen said. "People come out and shop because they are going to get the best deals. That's why they go out on Black Friday. Because they advertise and promote."

Callen said Black Friday may be changing the reason for the season.

Statistics show 147 million shoppers will take part in Black Friday. Police said they are forced to add extra patrol due to shoplifting, theft, and violence.

"If you shoplift, if you start pushing everybody, or you start causing a scene to where its going to be a disturbance to everybody else, you will be arrested," said Donald Efaw, White Hall Police.

Even when people are driving between stores, police said leaving their bags in the car can be a bad idea.

"That does happen often. Not really often but we ask everybody to be mindful that there are people out there that are watching for that stuff," Efaw said.

Is Black Friday worth the hassle? Is it worth facing the crowds and cutting your Thanksgiving short with your family? Callen said no.

"If you can make great deals on Black Friday, why can't you do it on December 15? You can do it on December 15 just as well," he said.

He encourages people do what he is planning to do.

"Anyone who opens on Thanksgiving, I will not buy anything from them. I hope other people step forward and say 'family is more important and how dare you treat your employees that way'," he said.

Click here for past Black Friday stories.

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