MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, meant shopping madness was underway Friday morning, as many stores were open on Thursday. But other retailers have opted out of Black Friday, encouraging people instead to go outside.
Even at JC Penny at 5 a.m. Friday, the store was bustling at Coastal Grand Mall.
There are a lot of people who refused to be caught anywhere near the crowded malls and Black Friday chaos. But for some, it's an annual tradition. Even newer shopping holidays like Cyber Monday didn't stop them from showing up and shivering in the cold Friday.
Shoppers said it's just one of those things they started doing with their family and friends, and it's easy to knock out Christmas shopping in one day.
Retailers take advantage of that, of course, opening earlier and earlier every year it seems, because Black Friday is a cash cow.
Black Friday is certainly one of the biggest shopping days of the year, every year, but this year, there were some stores that sacrificed sales for a bigger purpose. And they didn't want consumers to spend time shopping either, urging them to get out in the great outdoors.While many top name retailers have followed suit, REI really started the fight. In October, the outdoor retailer announced it would not be opening on Black Friday. It is encouraged people instead to go outside, pushing #OptOutside.
In Myrtle Beach, local business owners got on board following REI's announcement.
"I think our closing Friday is part of that," said Jim Whitmore, owner of Pee Dee Bicycle. "We want to embrace that idea that REI has really set out in the market place. Let's just get beyond this crazy, mass hysteria around Black Friday... and really re-engage and re-prioritize what's important in life."