The Blackest Friday

Black Friday has always been a madhouse for retail locations. This is something I can remember happening even in my childhood. Back then it was people getting trampled over Tickle Me Elmos, Beanie Babies and Tamagotchis though. Things have always been bad, been primal and uncivilized, but social media has opened many eyes to how immoral this can actually be. We frequently see videos of fights and items being snatched from potential buyers. I saw a video of a middle aged women snatching an item out of the hands of a child. Truly how low do you have to go to be taking things from a child? These animalistic consumers seem to have no shame. They seem to have no limit to how far they will go to get the latest and greatest deal at these department stores; and things may only be getting worse.

Now obviously there has to be some connecting story that has SOCIAL’s resident shoe guy sitting behind his keyboard. I’m writing because of the atrocity that occurred at Nike’s Seattle Premium Outlet. The entire outlet was left in disarray with aisles filled with boxes and other merchandise. Now, of course I feel for the employees and dedicated staff left to restore the store (if even possible for them to do), but there is more than that. What about the extra hours needed to be worked by employees who most likely already had longer shifts due to Black Friday? What about the revenue essentially lost from all of the damaged product? What about the store merchandising that was actually damaged with the craze that occurred? If impacted that much the location could have actually been closed due to needing to be refurbished. But, these are things I consider. These are things that I take the time to think about.

Now we are left to ask the simple and obvious question; why would people do that? There may have been rumors of releases or lists of great promotions, but still none that was justified. Nike outlets are a blessing to many enthusiasts, and a vast amount of casual consumers. I used to consider my trips to these outlets as “Hunting for Gems’ due to there normally being a returned pair of heat sitting in the back waiting to be purchased, but not being advertised. Nike Outlets contain sales on top of reductions on top of sales, and this is how we as a sneaker world treat it? This disgusts me, and there is no other way for me to put it. Have we become that ungrateful as consumers? Has the game now become that dirty? It was just 5 years ago that the “Banned” (Air Jordan Retro High Banned 1s) released there, and drove a true frenzy due to their rarity at the time. This was once a beautiful art, but between resale prices, incidents like this, and sneaker violence, it’s clear that there is no value to it. I mean, it’s hard enough to be someone that enjoys sneakers without being viewed as an immature, hoarder with no value of money and little to no sense of what to truly matters in life; as many of you are seen as. But, this has made it worse. Now mind you this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Unfortunately, we have seen many stores and malls broken into and pretty much ransacked when a limited release has dropped. But, I do actually believe this is the first time when a location was open for business. And on top of that this was not looting. These were supposed consumers that paid for their merchandise.

I truly don’t understand the purpose of what occurred in Seattle. We send our well wishes to the employees of that Nike Outlet, as well as any other businesses or employees impacted by this type of idiotic behavior. We also send our condolences to anyone ever affected by sneaker violence. In short, we have to be better, in many aspects. I can’t say hype or anything else did this. This was a group of clowns running rampant because they have no worth in their own lives.

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