Every year, it seems that the Christmas shopping season starts earlier than the last. Thanksgiving has traditionally been the last day to relax before retailers began extending their hours and blitzing customers with television commercials and other advertisements about their holiday sales. This is no longer the case. Target, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Sears and Kmart will all be open on Thanksgiving to get a head start on the holiday shopping season. Keeping stores open on Thanksgiving in anticipation of Black Friday is part of a wider trend that began last year and has grown in popularity in the retail industry.
The result is that the employees of these big box stores are forced to miss out on time with their friends and family on Thanksgiving because they’re busy at work stocking the shelves and helping customers. While it’s not surprising that retailers want to maximize their profits from the holiday shopping season, it will make little to no difference if stores are kept open one day earlier than they have been in the past. Eager holiday shoppers can and will wait until Friday to begin taking part in the old American tradition of mass consumption. More importantly, the failure on the part of retail managers and executives to give their employees the Thanksgiving holiday off reveals a deep lack of appreciation and value for their workers. Many of the corporations that are keeping their doors open this Thursday are some of the most profitable businesses in the world, and it is completely unnecessary and arguably immoral for them to force their employees to skip out on Thanksgiving dinner with their family just so customers can begin their holiday shopping a day earlier.
Many of the workers at these retailers have rightly signed petitions calling for the end of the “Black Friday creep.” Costumers should support them and delay their shopping spree until at least the Thanksgiving turkey has had time be digested.