Oklahomans To Enjoy True Black Friday Sales Thanks To New Law
OKLAHOMA CITY - For the first time in more than 70 years, Oklahomans will be able to enjoy true Black Friday sales thanks to a law passed through the legislature this year and went into effect November 1.
Since 1941, Oklahoma law prevented retailers from selling items below cost, which stores typically do on Black Friday to get people into the store. The law mandated retailers price items six percent above what they paid for them. The new law changes that.
Becky Robertson is an avid Black Friday shopper.
"Every year I get out at 4 o'clock in the morning," Robertson said.
Yet, she had no idea that she wasn't getting the same deals as shoppers in 48 other states.
"If you studied TV ads very closely last year you might have noticed on the bottom of the screen it said ‘except in Oklahoma and Wisconsin', that's not a list I wanted us to be on," said Oklahoma State Senator David Holt.
Senator Holt introduced the bill during last year's legislative session.
"For me it's pushing Oklahoma toward the free market, I just don't think government has any role in telling retailers they have to charge a certain price," said Holt. "That's a government imposed tax on the consumer that I'm really glad we finally got away from."
Senator Holt says selling the new law to the rest of the legislature wasn't easy. Opponents argued it would harm small businesses that couldn't offer the deep discounts. But Holt says those who were really harmed were those like Becky.
Senator Holt says Oklahoma would actually lose out on tax dollars as well because shoppers on border towns would cross state lines on Black Friday, and therefore we would lose out on that sales tax revenue.
Under the new law, Oklahoma retailers will be allowed to sell general merchandise products at any price below their cost for up to 15 days in a row on a specific product and up to ten times a year.