May 23, 2019 | 66° F

Rutgers students may have to venture outside of New Brunswick for Black Friday deals this year

Photo by Thomas Boniello |

Over the last few years, Black Friday deals have crept their way into earlier daylight hours. Stores have begun opening in the afternoon and evening on Thanksgiving Day.

As students go home for Thanksgiving recess, they have family, turkey and upcoming finals on their minds. But with Thanksgiving also comes Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year.

In an interview with New Jersey 101.5, Sandy Becker, a professor in the Department of Marketing, said that Black Friday still has the same purpose it always had — to bring increased traffic into stores and malls.

Becker said Black Friday sales have started earlier and earlier — in the past few years, stores have begun opening in the afternoon and evening on Thanksgiving day.

CNN updates from last year's Black Friday saw consumers take advantage of sales early on, with Target reporting an average of 3,200 televisions sold per minutes in the first hour after its midnight opening. Additionally, stores like Walmart saw an increase in Thanksgiving related goods throughout November, selling 150 million pounds of turkey and ham.

“There was a lot of negativity around opening on Thanksgiving day,” Becker told NJ 101.5. “I believe it was last year or two years ago there was a lot of public relations issues … a lot consumers were unhappy not only for opening but forcing their employees to work on Thanksgiving day and not being with their families."

Black Friday is not likely to go away, Becker said, as it remains an opportunity for both online and brick-and-mortar retailers to kickstart the holiday shopping season.

Amanda Luchun, a Rutgers alumna who works in New Brunswick at the Italian restaurant Due Mari, said that New Brunswick typically clears out for Thanksgiving recess.

“The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a bigger bar night, but then the town kind of clears out after that,” she said. “I don’t work in retail, but I think many students and people who live in New Brunswick go shopping at malls and bigger chains that have good deals.”

Popular stores around town like Scarlet Fever and the Rutgers Barnes and Noble are not promoting any Black Friday sales in stores or online.

Luchun said that everyone already at home for Thanksgiving goes shopping around their homes. 

“I’m from East Brunswick, which isn’t too far from here. Yet I always went shopping at Brunswick Square Mall, Freehold Mall or online,” she said. 

While shoppers will be headed to major shopping malls and stores this year, many will do their Black Friday shopping online too.

“There’s an encouragement to continue to show up in person where there are some sales that are in-store only. There is a wide range of opportunity online as well. There’s Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving, with significant sales there,” Becker said. 

According to Forbes magazine, people will continue to shop this Black Friday both online and in-stores.

“Although brick-and-mortar locations will see less traffic, there will still be a trend for shoppers to dip into all channels,” according to Forbes. 

Jill Pastor

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