I have seen the depths of hell…

…and lived to tell the tale. 🙂

OK, so it wasn’t really hell.  It was CompUSA’s Thanksgiving Night sale.  I wanted to people-watch, but man, it was craziness.

When I got to the CompUSA parking lot at Cox and Broad, I knew it was going to be strange — CompUSA was the only store open in their shopping center… and the entire lot was full.   Not just their section in front of the store — THE WHOLE STRIP MALL!

Then I went inside.  I got there at 9:20, meaning the store had been open for 20 minutes.  The lines for the cash registers were easily an hour long already.  There were people running around the store just grabbing anything they could buy — there’s no way most of it was on sale — and I heard a couple of clearly overwhelmed CompUSA associates telling people that the circular specials were already sold out.

Time for a fearless prediction: this is the future of holiday retail.  Within a couple of years, most major retail chains will open 9-midnight or 8-midnight on Thanksgiving night.  Any retail executive who saw the mob at CompUSA tonight would walk out saying “I want my share of that”.   The store was literally packed like sardines — there was no room to move at all unless you were willing to throw elbows like a hockey thug.

And here’s one more to warm your heart… a short drive up the road at Broad and Gaskins, Circuit City’s newly-remodeled “the City” store was lit up nice and bright.  So I swung by to check it out — I wanted to see how it looked after the remodel from the stodgy old-school Circuit City look.  Well, I couldn’t.  They weren’t actually open.  The lights were on for the crowd that had queued up outside the doors waiting for the 5am Black Friday opening.  The winds are howling at 30-40mph and the wind chills tonight will be in the 20s, and there are about 50 people queued up right now outside “the City” waiting for the Black Friday sale.  Those who are looking for signs of the apocalypse now have another.

If this is *any* indication, the stories on tomorrow’s noon newscasts will be about the smashing success of Black Friday 2007.

As for me?  I’ll be asleep.

Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), improv tech guy, generally nice person (if you ask me).

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