You know you are living in a world of lower standards when retailers are being applauded for not forcing employees to work on a national holiday. Twenty years ago, the very thought would have been unthinkable. But that is exactly what is happening this Thanksgiving season.
Stores like Costco, Nordstrom, and Best Buy have announced they will be closed the entire day on Thanksgiving, Nov. 27. Consumers interviewed about this year’s biggest shopping day said they will support stores that honor the holiday by giving their employees the day off.
It may not be all about family, however. Best Buy said it’s closing on Turkey Day because there just isn’t enough profit to keep the doors open. Regardless, closing for Thanksgiving is great P.R. Retailers may actually save money and employees get to be with their families, so it’s a “win-win.”
Until a few years ago, being open on Thanksgiving Day was only acceptable at restaurants, hospitals and your local 7-Eleven. But when the economy went south, things changed. Black Friday became Black Thursday. It fueled an advertising frenzy, filled with all sorts of hype to get shoppers to come out. The lure of unbelievable deals began pulling people away from the family table in pursuit of the hottest toys or wide screen TVs.
This is why so many protest the commercialism of Christmas. It’s time to stop the madness.
Retailers who experimented with the Thanksgiving Day opening argued that it could alleviate some of the craziness of Black Friday. In recent years, there have been some unfortunate incidents of shoppers being injured—pushed or trampled by fellow customers.
In this age of viral social media, negative publicity can be the death knell of a business—especially a big one. Almost 50,000 people have joined the Facebook group, “Boycott Black Thursday ” to demonstrate against any store that opens on Thanksgiving this year.
To those companies who have not yet made the conscious choice to shut down on Thanksgiving, you still have two weeks to make up your mind. Please get this memo: “Thanksgiving is for watching football and being with family!” Consumers have a voice now thanks to the Internet, and they won’t be silenced. We hope you’re listening.