America Finds a New Thanksgiving Tradition in #WalmartFights

walmart fights - black friday 2013

Not only are Black Friday sales less than they’re cracked up to be, the day-after-Thanksgiving national shop-a-thon is getting dangerous.

Starting late on Thursday night, Anonymous-linked Twitter account @YourAnonNews began encouraging Twitter users to document fights seen outside retailers open for for the holiday using the hashtag #WalmartFights. The hashtag began to trend nationally around 11 pm EST, as scuffles around the country were Tweeted, Instagrammed, and Vined.

walmart fights - black friday 2013

America Finds a New Thanksgiving Tradition in #WalmartFights – Businessweek

This year’s early start to Black Friday proves Thanksgiving as you know it is gone

Big-name retailers, like Target (TGT, Fortune 500), Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500), Best Buy (BBY, Fortune 500) and Macy’s launched their Black Friday sales in the evening hours Thursday, while Kmart opened even earlier, at 6 a.m., with plans to remain open for 41 hours straight.

Mall managers across the country said shoppers still arrived in droves but the earlier openings led to a smoother flow of traffic throughout the night, instead of the usual rush at midnight. Edward Larson, who manages a J.C. Penney in Great Falls, Mont., said customers were “more purposeful and not as frenzied.”

The Town East Mall in the suburbs of Dallas opened at 8 p.m., and thousands made their way to Macy’s (M, Fortune 500), Sears (SHLD, Fortune 500) and J.C. Penney. (JCP, Fortune 500) Their demeanor was more calm and reserved than in years past, said mall manager Chad Hastings.

“This is definitely a game changer,” Hastings said. “In future years, the customer will expect stores to open at 8:00.”

The earlier start also meant that foot traffic dropped off in the morning’s early hours, an unusual sight. South Florida’s Aventura Mall was nearly empty at 5 a.m.

Even those who stayed home found it hard to resist the deals, with a record number of people shopping online Thanksgiving Day. Department stores tallied 20% higher online sales on Thanksgiving Day alone this year, according to data collected by IBM. Just over a quarter of them used their smartphones to make purchases.

Shoppers say workers should be home with their loved ones. But it won’t stop them from heading out anyway.

“I don’t like that the hours are earlier. I think people should be able to be with their families on Thanksgiving,” said Kim Schaefer as she shopped for shoes at J.C. Penney.

At a Target in Philadelphia, Qiana Roberts skipped Thanksgiving dinner for a spot in line. Collin Cook ate extra early on Thursday to join the masses at J.C. Penney in Wayne, N.J.

And that’s why businesses are throwing up their hands and saying: ‘It’s not us. It’s you.’

“We’re a service industry,” said Wal-Mart’s U.S. CEO Bill Simon. “If the traffic is any indication, they clearly want to shop on Thursday evening. We’ll provide that for them.”

This year’s early start to Black Friday proves Thanksgiving as you know it is gone. – Nov. 29, 2013

In 23 Advanced Economies: U.S. Adults Rank 21st in Math Skills

President Barack Obama & Education Secretary Arne Duncan

The U.S. Department of Educations National Center for Education Statistics NCES on Friday released the initial results of an international survey of adult skills in literacy and mathematics, revealing that Americans rank 21st in “numeracy” and are tied for 15th in literacy among adults in 23 advanced economies.

American adults also scored below the average in both numeracy and literacy for all respondents in all 23 advanced economies.

Japan and Finland ranked first and second in both categories and Italy and Spain took the bottom two spots in both.

The international survey–the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies PIAAC–was developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The data from Russia was not included in the initial results, the NCES said, “because they were released too late for publication.”

“Numeracy” was defined by the survey as “the ability to access, use, interpret, and communicate mathematical information and ideas, to engage in and manage mathematical demands of a range of situations in adult life.”

“Literacy” was defined as “understanding, evaluating, using and engaging with written text to participate in society to achieve one’s goals and to develop one’s knowledge and potential.”

The survey tested a sample of approximately 5,000 Americans ages 16 to 65, using a test that was scored on a scale of 0-500.

In 23 Advanced Economies: U.S. Adults Rank 21st in Math Skills | CNS News