Blogging Bayport Alameda

December 2, 2013

Black Thursday

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Business — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday. I managed to escape relatively unscathed this year with the exception of a small battle wound from Thanksgiving prep the day before. Fortunately it happened at the end of the day when the bulk of the work had been done.

This year instead of waiting for the next day a lot of big retailers decided to open on Thanksgiving night instead of being civilized and waiting till the next morning for people to kill each other over some super low priced deals. Target was one of those big retailers but I heard that the South Shore retailers all allowed their employees to continue to enjoy Thanksgiving.

After Thanksgiving dinner was served my husband and the in laws thought it would be a good idea to walk to Target to (1) walk off the dinner to make room for dessert and (2) see if they could score any good deals. Having cooked all day, I passed, plus I’m not a big Black Friday shopper anyway and really am not a fan of being pushed and shoved for a super cheap TV. According to the eyewitness (husband and in laws) reports Target was PACKED on Thanksgiving night, I think they opened at 8:00 p.m. I mean fire hazard levels of packed. As in, way to many people packed into the space packed. Reports were that Alameda’s Target was woefully unprepared for the number of people that decided to leave their pie at home and head to the store.

My husband turned around and went home immediately upon seeing how crowded it was. The in laws tried to do some shopping, but they said that there was no way they were going to stand in line as long as it was — lots of line jumping in addition to the length of the line — and so abandoned their purchases and left as well.

So the husband returned at 5:00 in the morning (because he’s a really early riser anyway) and said it was a ghost town at Target. The in laws went later that morning and said it was equally empty and the stores at South Shore were also pretty empty. After taking my nephew on an “art haul” off the island we swung by Target to pick up some snacks and it was not crowded but definitely not full either.

It will be interesting to see what kind of 4th quarter numbers the Target pulls in given the sheer number of shoppers that apparently did stick around to wait it line. According to the Target employees people were still at the store on Thanksgiving until midnight.



  1. I’m glad I spend Thanksgiving with people I like so I don’t feel compelled to escape to the shopping mall. Target has nothing at any price I’d be willing to stand in line for. What’s ironic is that a lot of that shopping is probably for gifts for the people they just abandoned at the dinner table. If you really love someone, give them your presence instead of presents.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — December 2, 2013 @ 7:36 am

  2. I’m not sure I want to spend ANY of my money at any stores that opened on Thanksgiving. No one jumped up from my sister’s table to go shopping on T-Day and many had to work the next day. I shopped at two locally-owned stores in Redwood City Friday but stayed away from the mall scene. (I’m not a very good lemming…)

    Comment by Jon Spangler — December 2, 2013 @ 8:21 am

  3. Put the bait out and the rats woill come ……
    I finfd it hilarious to say the least the very same peoples who beat ech other up are the very same one which want more time for their familly , everysingle shopping mall from H 17 to Alameda had traffic back up in the street and the freeway ,
    I guess their family value start and stop at their credit card . This aside smart merchands stayed closed avoiding the cost of this madness ,
    I do hope if the City had police Officers working overtime for it they will bill these international corportions . Since securing an uncontrolable crowd they created is their doing therefore theirs to assume all cost . Target be one of them as they are with wall mart one of the largest employer of peoples on food stamps ..

    Comment by John — December 2, 2013 @ 9:54 am

  4. My niece had to work at Michael’s in the South Bay until 7 pm so she made it to dinner for dessert. I am not going to shop at Michael’s again.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — December 2, 2013 @ 10:40 am

  5. If you have no family to eat Thanksgiving dinner with, you might as well shop. Christ Episcopal “dinner” closes @two pm, & when you finish, you must leave to make room for more people to eat! Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful as always, & I even got a whole pie to take home [courtesy of Trader Joe’s] Christ Episcopal Thanksgiving is one of the things Alameda does best. Which is why it really sux that our Planning Board turned down their plea for a new cell phone tower atop the church’s generous roof. CE wasn’t expecting that much opposition-their parish council approved it & no neighbors voiced their opposition at the PB meeting. [I am one of their neighbors, & I think it’s a great idea.] It’s not like any of those Planning Board members actually worship there, either. So another short-sighted blunder by our PB.
    To find out when it opened, I swung by Target at about Noon, on my way back from Catholic Mass en route to the Episcopalian dinner [thankgiving is so ecumenical]. The first family was Already In Line camped outside Target! At 6 pm, there was already a line beyond the width of the store out to the parking lot entrance, with security guards watching for trouble.
    So I went the next day & had a delightful shopping experience. Unlike at Kohl’s, where the lines to the registers at the front & back of the store filled the store, snaking around until the ends met somewhere in the middle. That store was a mess, with lots of merchandise on the floor, & people holding places for others in line. [The line before the artificial “sale-ending” deadline of 1 pm took 20 minutes to get from back to front-really stupid…people just quit shopping at 12:30 to get in line].
    I never shopped at Kohl’s before, & probably never will again. Their prices are the same or higher than Target, so I don’t get why everyone was there. I went to Target immediately after and it was a breath of fresh air. More better parking, carts[!!!], no long lines inside.

    Comment by vigi — December 2, 2013 @ 10:45 am

  6. Just wondering why I am hearing this sentiment several places- the assumption that people only shopped because they did not have people to spend Thanksgiving with? As far as I could tell- in a lot of cases- it’s practically a family tradition to shop and others do it for sport or entertainment. Literally milllions of people shopped on Thanksgiving (feel confident that many if not most had families or friends) and the retail estimates were that billion(s )were spent, The stores opened early because they knew that people would shop and have done so for years- not exactly a new idea. This whole “horror” that people shopped is pretty bogus to me and the implications that people who do don’t have “values” is even more bogus. I don’t do it but I figure it’s a free country and not really mine to judge other people’s shopping habits. I did do a little bit of shopping on Support small town business day though- just to be supportive.
    Which came first : the store opening or the people wanting to shop? Loved the Onion article BTW!

    Comment by Donalda — December 2, 2013 @ 11:16 am

  7. “I heard that the South Shore retailers all allowed their employees to continue to enjoy Thanksgiving.” – Nope, Old Navy was open during the day on Thanksgiving. (I didn’t go in — I was on my way to the beach to take a walk — but there were lots of cars in the parking lot.)

    Comment by Sue T. — December 2, 2013 @ 11:59 am

  8. 7. Lot’s of people like to pat themselves on the back and congratulate themselves for their holiness even if they have to make up the old ‘the very same people who’ strawman to do it.

    Comment by Lavage10 — December 2, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

  9. You call it shopping, and not a big deal, but I call it Culture War. I would resent it if my kids were forced to work on Thanksgiving by greedy corporate moguls, driven by the almighty buck. Who benefits but their shareholders and those overpaid executives? We sure do talk a lot about the importance of family and do just the opposite. Not surprised, just find it ironic that Dickens’ Christmas Story rings so true today.

    Comment by commonsense — December 2, 2013 @ 8:31 pm

  10. It was interesting to see the number of golf players show up at the golf course and take advantage of the great weather on Thanksgiving day. So rather than watch football they were on the course from 9am to 1pm.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — December 2, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

  11. By the President of the United States of America.

    A Proclamation.

    The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

    In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

    Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

    By the President: Abraham Lincoln

    William H. Seward,
    Secretary of State

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — December 2, 2013 @ 9:59 pm

  12. I don’t think it takes a belief in a deity to acknowledge for one day that humans are not the controllers of fate, and that to set aside a day to reflect on the many things that are right with the world, including family and good friends, and to be grateful for those who have passed through this world and left their stamp on our memories, is not too much to ask of a people and country. To me, getting some sort of phony deal on some merchandise that will be here today and gone tomorrow, just does not fit in on this holiday. period.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — December 2, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

  13. For the record, I am not condoning or condemning the whole shopping on Thanksgiving day thing- I don’t do it because I hate crowds but I am not prepared to condemn those people who do as some people appear to be comfortable doing. I wish that people weren’t forced to work if they don’t want to but I am saying that these stores open because there is a market for it. If most of us here take a detailed look at our 401Ks (if we have them) , you will see that you own stock in those companies who are doing it so unless we are all prepared to dump those companies- it is what it is. I don’t have to like it to admit that it happens and that will continue to happen.
    I also saw a rather interesting discussion this weekend where they mentioned that no one was sad about the poor football players who had to work or all the support personnel for that sport , etc. It did remind me that a lot of people have to work on this day and not all of them are retail.
    And if we take it to the next level- all of the values that we are supposed to practice on that single day should be practiced every day and we shouldn’t need a turkey dinner to remind us what we have to be grateful for.
    But that is just the Buddhist in me talking.

    Comment by Donalda — December 3, 2013 @ 7:12 am

  14. I don’t mean to condemn either; just to point out that the holiday was supposed to be more for reflection than for entertainment. Obviously it is not how most people observe the holiday today.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — December 3, 2013 @ 11:29 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog at