Askov Finlayson photo by Caitlin Abrams
With the malls opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving—3 p.m. for JC Penney, but then, it's JC Penney—it would be farfetched to declare the death of Black Friday. And no doubt, some yahoo will spend the holiday on a lawn chair in the Best Buy parking lot, but we all know that has more to do with avoiding the relatives than scoring an HDTV that could easily be ordered online. Still, change is in the air, and at the stores. We're entering a kinder, gentler era of Black Friday—now a season, not just a day. Deals are out in the open, and have been building all week so there's no frenzy. Some malls and big box stores will close overnight so employees can catch at least a few hours of post-turkey shut eye before opening early on Friday. And then there's REI, which will remain closed on Friday. Though most national retailers are not joining REI on its Black Friday date with the outdoors, everybody is talking about it. And thinking it might be time for a change.
Askov Finlayson is separating itself from Black Friday by dubbing this "A weekend of giving."
"However you choose to spend your holiday weekend," the North Loop retailer said in an email to customers, "together, we'll help support a great cause." From Friday through (Cyber) Monday, Askov Finlayson will donate 10 percent of all purchases in store and online to Climate Generation, the nonprofit partner in the store's Keep the North Cold campaign. And for those Askov fans who decide to make like REI and spend Black Friday outside, tag your nature 'grams with @askovfinlayson and #TeamNorth—Askov Finlayson will donate $1 to Climate Generation for each shared photo.
LynLake home and gift store Pharmacie is also giving back rather than giving discounts. Calling it the "good karma sale," Pharmacie will donate 10 percent of all sales Friday through Sunday to local non-profit Loaves & Fishes, which provides farm to table meals to Minnesotans in need.
Other signs of change on the homefront: one of the Twin Cities' most enthusiastic Black Friday boutique retailers, Covered, sent an email to customers announcing that after almost a decade, it is ending its tradition of early morning discounts. Sleep in, they advise. Come to the store when you're ready. There will be refreshments and some deals awaiting shoppers.