Ace's View

Dedicated to minority issues, topics and everything in between

Lack Friday

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I write this, slightly discouraged and dismayed, but with a sense of purpose.

And normally I would write this post in a fashion where the purpose would be at the end, but since we seem to be running short on time (in a lot of different ways, but more on that later)—I’ll get to the point.

If you have any bit of conscience, keep yourselves away from the stores on Black Friday and in the weeks leading up to the Christmas holiday.

If you are black (or for that matter, any disenfranchised minority) and have any bit of conscience, you will not give any of these retailers a dime, as it appears that the majority of them will take your money for pies, for example, but will not settle for a life taken in their store at the hands of overzealous police officers.

If you do not fall into the above category or just think “well, this social justice movement doesn’t apply to me” or, better yet, follow the #AllLivesMatter crowd…think of it this way:

If that hashtag were true, there would be no issue with say…JC Penney’s closing its doors on Thursday afternoon instead of opening…at…3pm.

This means that all shapes, sizes and sorts of employees will line up to make a tad above minimum wage and be away from their families on Thanksgiving Day (because you know they’ll have to be there BEFORE 3pm, right?)

I’m straying from the topic, here.  What I intended to do tonight was to make an attempt at talking to those who doubt that an economic boycott could actually work, for a bunch of different reasons, because those are the ones that matter, here.

The ones that are going to be absent from the stores, such as myself, do not need any extra convincing.  The ones that are going to go regardless cannot be convinced otherwise, as they only see the benefit in meeting their immediate need to purchase items that will be forgotten about in five years or less.

This is strictly for the ones who might go out on Black Friday and the days after.  If you absolutely must shop on Black Friday:

  • Patronize a black-owned/operated business.

 

This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s actually not as easy for some people as it may seem.  There aren’t a lot of brick-and-mortar black-owned businesses outside of our neighborhoods, but this is your chance to find one (or several) and make every effort to keep your dollars circulating in your community while simultaneously giving someone a gift that they will appreciate.  In short, do business with people who want you in their store.  But if you must shop outside of the community and go into a mainstream/big-box store:

 

  • Find a black or minority employee to assist you.

Working in retail for many years and for different companies, every reward system is different.  Most companies (ex: Best Buy, Target, Meijer, Toys ‘R Us) do not necessarily pay their employees commission in monetary form, but some have a reward-based incentive program for employees that perform well and meet certain sales goals.  Also notable: the customer service survey that corporate pays more attention to than just about anything.  Seek out a minority to help you out and if you must spend in stores like this, give the person credit for bringing that store your business.  It will definitely help them out.

 

  • Make an attempt to spend less than you did last year.

 

I must stress this because last year marked a 10% drop in Black Friday sales overall.  With retailers starting their promotions early and offering unheard of deals to generate more traffic in their stores, they are counting on your dollars to boost them this holiday season.  Now, imagine, if you were in the stores last holiday season, leaving with either half as many items and being more focused on what you’re buying—or, better yet, shopping smart and making a point to get your list fulfilled without spending nearly as much as last year.  The goal should be to keep as much money in your pocket as possible.

 

  • Document your experiences while shopping.

 

I recommend this because some people who are participating in this year’s boycott are not necessarily doing so in protest over treatment in this country, but their treatment while shopping last year in certain stores.  It may be A Very Amazon Christmas for a lot of people, simply because customer service was lacking in a lot of areas for a good chunk of major retailers last season.  So keep a running record of where you are treated like your dollars are valued, and where it seems as if the only way you would get attended to in the store is by slipping on a wet floor.

 

Finally,

 

  • Stay away from stores who put profit over their employees.

 

As I mentioned in the earlier paragraph, stores like JC Penney and others who will be open on Thanksgiving Day definitely do not think enough of their employees to give them one full holiday off (aside from Christmas itself, but if demand increases enough for people to want to shop on Christmas, that will happen too.) Speak with your presence in their store and keep your dollars out of their registers, and I can guarantee that they will start closing their doors on Thanksgiving Day in years to come.

 

If you have any other suggestions, feel free to make them in the comments below.

 

What will follow this entry, starting this Friday, will be a feature on black-owned and operated businesses that I personally have either patronized or will be patronizing during this holiday season.

 

If you have any other ones that aren’t in this link that I should either check into or you just want to give them a plug, also: comments.

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Written by aceviewblogger

November 23, 2015 at 10:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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