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Because Nothing Says Love Like Midnight Shopping

By Olivia Leigh in News on Nov 6, 2006 5:38PM

Chicagoist has long avoided Black Friday, that day of misery following Thanksgiving, when millions of men, women, and children descend upon malls and other retailers across the country in hopes of scoring some fabulous holiday deals.

However, we do realize that some people really get into the spirit of crushing crowds and waiting in freezing temperatures outside Circuit City at 3 a.m., as some of our friends have been known to do.

2006_11_blackfriday.jpgRetailers are catching on to the idea that a lot of crazy folk are out there, waiting to pounce on the big deals of the day as soon as the doors open. The Tribune reports that some malls around the country are opening their doors earlier — much earlier — at midnight on Friday, November 24.

Under pressure from early opening times of other businesses and the increasingly popularity of internet shopping, retailers are feeling the pressure to open even earlier the day after Thanksgiving, as well as to have extended hours throughout the season and to offer even more significant price discounts to create buzz and attract customers.

Calling it Midnight Madness, most of the excessively early opening will be at mall-based specialty stores and outlet malls, including Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora, that are often overlooked by shoppers on the prowl at department stores and discount chains. Indeed, two million people shopped at Wal-Mart alone on Black Friday last year.

Retailers are also hoping that the midnight opening might make for a slightly safer experience, potentially avoiding the crush of people rushing in doors at 5 a.m. We remember the Tickle Me Elmo debacles ten years ago, and now that he’s back in Extreme form this season, we’d be supportive of anything that would help avoid an injury-by-toy fiasco.

However, Chicagoist still feels a bit strange about Midnight Madness. We’ve always enjoyed our gatherings, filled with a nice, slow, filling meal, a tryptophan-induced nap, some football, catching up with family and a good sleep to end a great day. Ditching family members after the pumpkin pie has been cut not only seems a bit rude, but a bit ironic as well, considering we’d probably be buying gifts for said family members. How about giving them the gift of your time, instead?

Image of Macy's on Black Friday from LarimdaME