Last year 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 or two 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 is not be realistic. Wal-Mart made a similar announcement last year and their employees threatened to walk out. Several other major retailers joined suit and as a result Thanksgiving changed from family holiday to just another shopping day.
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 last year was just the start. I avoided stores that were open on Thanksgiving Day throughout the holiday season, and I’m committed to not making holiday purchases at stores opened on Thanksgiving this year as well. It’s going to be quite a challenge though since so few stores are remaining closed this year.
Stores to avoid:
- Old Navy
- Office Max
- Toys “R” Us
- J.C. Penney
- Best Buy
I’d like to think I can avoid these stores year round, but with so many on the list that will be difficult. I need to spend some time getting to know local small businesses. I don’t want to be responsible for the demise of an American holiday.