Stories produced by students in the Meek School of Journalism & New Media
The day after Thanksgiving has always been a big shopping day, almost a holiday in it’s own right. What is known as “Black Friday” has shoppers literally fighting over merchandise and big chains such as Walmart and Target are cashing in because of this tradition. But it’s not only the national chains that benefit; local Oxford stores also look forward to the shopping frenzy, too.
“Black Friday is always good for us; we did very well”, said Steve Hinton, of Hinton&Hinton, a high-end clothing store on the Oxford Square.
What makes this day so successful? Mr. Hinton credits the Egg Bowl for much of this year’s high sales mark. The number of people in Oxford for the annual football rivalry game between Ole Miss and Mississippi State made Black Friday all the more sweet for Hinton & Hinton.
“We usually do really well on Black Friday, but when State comes in town, it brings in a lot of alumni to the store who have shopped with us for a while now,” said Hinton.
Not everyone is a fan of the Black Friday tradition of fighting the crowds, however. “I don’t see the point of standing out in the cold all night when I can get online in my own home, jump on the computer and be all nice and cozy and buy the same exact thing as in the stores,” said Jon Slimack, a senior at Ole Miss.
Online shopping has become extremely popular. In fact, Statista.com reports that sales from online shopping have gone from $72 billion in 2002 to a hefty $256 billion in 2011. In 2011, $1.25 billion was spent on Cyber Monday, making it the biggest online shopping day in history.
Stores like Hinton&Hinton take a hybrid approach, offering online browsing, but not purchases.
“People see a shirt that they like on our website, and because we don’t have an online store, they call and ask about it and place an order in over the phone and are able to pick it up in the store,” Hinton said.
For some, online shopping cannot replace some of the perks of shopping in-store. For instance, if you are shopping for clothes you may want to feel the fabric used, you may want to see the fit of the clothes compared to buying it online and having to return it because it is a couple sizes off. Many online merchants have a hefty shipping cost to go along with their products.
Whatever type of shopping suits your preference is a personal choice. What are not disputed, however, are the bargains that are to be had on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Shop wisely!