Retail workers prepare to face Black Friday

BY MIKENNA RIVARD 
Contributor 

The days when “Black Friday” was a single day meant to kick-off holiday shop- ping and push sales into the black for businesses has come and gone.
Consumer participation in Black Friday has increased from 87 million shoppers to 99 million between 2014 to 2015 and is only expected to increase this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Thirty million people also said they would participate in Black Friday on Thanksgiving night.
With the evolution of Black Friday, stress levels are increased for retail workers as the dreaded holiday approaches.
“I don’t usually look forward to Black Friday,” said Favio Cerezo, merchandising manager at the Rockaway Townsquare Victoria’s Secret. “The shoppers come in earlier and earlier every year, and it can sometimes affect my Thanksgiving plans when I have to come into work so early.”
Rockaway Townsquare is one of many malls opening their doors on the night of Thanksgiving. This year they will be opening at 6 p.m. and staying open until the fol- lowing Saturday at their usual closing time of 9:30 p.m.
The extended hours are not all bad news for employees. Retail workers may be able to enjoy the incentive of getting paid time and a half if they work on Thanksgiving, since it is a federal holiday. Some said this extra pay is especially nice for nancially struggling college students.
“The only reason why I agreed to work on Thanksgiving night is because I get time and a half,” said Shauna Sommo, Rockaway Townsquare employee and County College of Morris student. “I need the extra money to put towards school or Christmas presents for my family.”
The nancial bonus doesn’t entirely outweigh the negative aspects of the day, though. “I hate Black Friday because it is exhausting and I always feel like I am being overworked,” Sommo said. “There can be a lack of respect that comes from holiday shoppers as they are trying to make their purchases during the madness.”
CCM students are only a small fraction of the 100 million people celebrating Black Friday this year.
“It’s a yearly tradition for my mom, my sisters and me to go Black Friday shop- ping,” said Braelyn Perez, a CCM student. “It’s not just about the shopping for us. We all love going out shopping late at night and being a part of the chaos together.”
The spectacle has evolved, and while retail workers may be dreading the droves of shoppers, there are no indications that those crowds are going to decline any time soon.

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