A couple of weeks ago I received a petition from Change.org asking me to help employees at Target. Since Target decided to push ahead their traditional Black Friday shopping, the stores plan to open at 8:00pm on Thanksgiving Day. The employee who started the petition asked for public support so she and other Target employees could spend the holiday with family.
Of course, if the store opens at 8:00, employees will report at least an hour earlier so if Thanksgiving dinner isn’t eaten by 3:00 or 4:00 an employee couldn’t possibly celebrate with family and going out of town will not be realistic. Wal-Mart made a similar announcement a week or so earlier and their employees threaten to walk out. Apparently Toys-R-Us and Sears have joined in the nonsense. Both advertise Thursday hours and door buster sales. Just what we need!
Certainly some people must work on Thanksgiving. Hospitals and nursing homes can’t close for the holiday. Police officers, firefighters, and others charged with public safety need to be available. However, do grocery stores, malls, or other retail stores need to open on Thanksgiving? Isn’t 6:00am or 4:00am on Friday early enough for consumers to begin Christmas shopping?
Black Friday may be replaced by Black Thursday, but the word Black has a new meaning. Originally, Black referred the day retailers began to turn a profit and therefore get “in the black”. The new meaning signifies the death of Thanksgiving. My suggestion to those required to work in retail on Thanksgiving is to wear black to work that day or accessorize their uniform with black.
As for me, signing the petition is just the start. I’m committed to not making any holiday purchases at stores opened on Thanksgiving. No Wal-Mart, no Target, no Toys-R-Us, and no Sears from November 22nd until January 1st. And who knows, maybe I can break the habit of shopping in these stores permanently!