Dust off your hat and gloves! ‘Tis the season for apple cider, bonfires and, of course, holiday shopping. Over the years, we have begun to see ads for holiday sales immediately following Halloween. Walking through your favorite stores, Christmas trees, lights and dancing elves greet you beginning on November 1st. It seems like America’s favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, has been lost in the shuffle of Fall sales. Should you say “my favorite holiday” instead?
More recently, Black Friday hours have been pushed earlier and earlier. This year, retailers are going as far as to have their stores open on Thanksgiving. Many people are speaking out and voicing their opinions – the question is, will retailers who are choosing to remain open Thanksgiving evening see a backlash?
Here are some thoughts from friends and family chiming in on the subject:
“Lots of people believe Black Friday is the day (and night) of the best deals for the holiday season. Being in retail, I have noticed retailers offering these deals prior to the official Black Friday date and also offering even better deals than Black Friday the week before Christmas. For customers, this means you can avoid the late night/early morning madness and get better deals without having to suffer lack of sleep and dark under eye circles! As an employee I am fortunate my company puts value in family over profit and allows me to work normal every day hours during Black Friday. I feel for those without that luxury who rush through Thanksgiving dinner or, even worse, don’t get to spend time with their family because they have to be at work Thanksgiving evening. It contradicts the entire meaning behind the holiday not getting a chance to spend time with those that you are most thankful for”.
“While I feel bad for employees that are required to work on Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other holiday, that is what you signed up for. It’s called working in retail. Restaurants are open on Christmas Eve – what’s the difference?”
“I think it’s crazy being open on Thanksgiving and I feel sorry for all of the people who have to work. I am choosing not to shop with companies that are remaining open, versus allowing workers to enjoy the holiday with their families – I would rather spend a little more money, then support a company that does not value their employees”.
Retailers are split – some holding true to tradition and waiting for Friday to kick off their holiday shopping, while others are opening around 4PM, or even earlier Thanksgiving Day. All are speaking out, in many cases, to defend their choice to open their doors early for Black Friday sales.
Nordstrom Inc. wrote on its Facebook page: “We won’t be decking our halls” until Black Friday because “we just like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time.”
A Macy’s Inc. spokesman said, “We are opening because customers tell us they are interested in shopping on Thanksgiving evening”
“Some things are more important than money”, said Ace Hardware about keeping its 4,600 stores nationwide closed on Thanksgiving.
“Almost everybody to date has moved up, at least one hour, if not more,” said a Walmart’s representative. “We thought 6 o’clock was the exact right time to win the weekend.”
Many retailers, like Macy’s, are emphasizing that their decision to remain open was prompted by customers expressing an interest in shopping on Thanksgiving. Some are providing employees with increased pay, a higher percentage off personal transactions and even a Thanksgiving meal. Some made the decision to remain closed, not so much to honor the holiday, but because in past years their Black Friday sales numbers have not been worth dragging employee’s out of the house and away from families.
There is always going to be someone disappointed, or in many cases, outraged with the decision. Regardless, it seems like the majority of the companies made their decisions based on financial gain, be it they remain opened or closed. Maybe this is just the name of the game now? Retailers are changing their strategies in the fight to win sales and compete with online only companies.
Or maybe, in our fast paced, profit driven world, we have just lost sight of what is really important…family.
Let us know how you feel about the Black Friday controversy.
For a full list of retailers, both open and closed on Thanksgiving, please see the below links.
Stores open for business:
Stores closed on Thanksgiving: