My family doesn't normally shop on Black Friday -- the savings aren't worth the pain. Today, though, I took the boys to a local nordic ski shop. The timing was right, and I figured a specialty shop like Finn Sisu wouldn't get a lot of sales traffic.
Wrong. We walked in, looked around, and walked out.
Which made me wonder - why is Black Friday such a mess?
It's the same reason that clipping coupons is a tedious chore. Coupon clipping and Black Friday sales enable price discrimination. Black Friday wait times eliminate people who will pay full price, while pulling in people who won't pay full price.
(PS. I figured out the price discrimination angle myself, but instead of writing a long and ill-informed post I found someone who'd written a good explanation. See also: Price discrimination - Wikipedia.)