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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

USC

Early Black Friday Times Spark Mixed Reactions

Retailers are opening their doors for Black Friday shoppers earlier than ever before, and USC students have mixed reactions.

Black Friday shoppers await Target's opening to steal the best deals. (Photo by AP)
Black Friday shoppers await Target's opening to steal the best deals. (Photo by AP)

Shoppers must choose between sweet deals or sweet pie as retailers open their doors for Black Friday on Thanksgiving evening.

Companies such as Target, Walmart and Toys R Us are set to open at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22. For

At Toys R Us, the first 200 people in line will receive a a $30 stocking-stuffer goody bag.

One holiday-shopping USC student feels the stores' early opening squashes the Thanksgiving spirit.

Sophomore Vincent Nguyen, 19, said America is a "consumer" society. "People are willing to give up Thanksgiving traditions."

Last year, Nguyen saw people eating their turkey dinners as a family as they camped out in front of the stores.

"I prefer eating indoors," he said.

A sit-down Thanksgiving dinner remains a tradition for freshman Erin Ellison.

"I cannot say this affects my Thanksgiving plans as my family and I have never actually participated in Black Friday," said the 18 year-old.

Retailers are handing out deals left and right, enticing shoppers to spend as much as they can. Target says it will offer $10 gift cards to shoppers spending more than $50 in a specific category.

Staples says shoppers can save up to $200 on certain HP computers with Windows 8 if they arrive on Friday before noon.

Junior Jared Fleitman needs to replace his laptop and will take advantage of the sales despite when they're offered.

"There's nothing special about Friday itself, and as a consumer it doesn't really matter to me which days the deals become active," he said.

Target's doors will open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. Walmart and Sears will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. Staples will open at 5 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 23.

"If you open up the stores on Thanksgiving, then you either have your Thanksgiving dinner like usual or you miss out on the deals," said Nguyen. "You can't do both."

"Black Friday shopping sales were created to sensationalize the buying experience and kick off season boosts in profit," said Fleitman.

Senior Mike Vulpo, 21, said he "sympathizes" with the retail store workers.

"Thanksgiving is one of the few days in the year where families across the country actually have dinner together, and I feel that we're getting our priorities mixed up," he said.

Vulpo said he was "disappointed" and "irritated" that stores keep opening their doors earlier and earlier.

"As a Black Friday shopper, I will be avoiding the door-busters," he said. "I'll be shopping at 2 a.m."

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