In recent years, retailers have been opening their doors for Black Friday deals earlier and earlier. Traditionally, Black Friday sales start on Friday, thus the name, but now Thanksgiving is fair game. This year Radio shack opens its doors at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving! J.C. Penny’s will open at 3 p.m. most likely in hopes to gain a head start to try to make up for their decline in revenue in recent years. Old Navy opens at 4 p.m. and Best Buy and Toys R Us follow at 5 p.m. Other department stores such as Kohl’s, Walmart, Target, Sears, Macy’s, and Dick’s Sporting Goods open at 6 p.m. Lastly Kmart follows at 7 p.m. These retailers have sparked a huge debate about whether stores should be allowed to open that early.
But first, how did this shopping holiday begin? There are many theories for the origin of the shopping holiday, but the one that prevails is that it is the first day that can push retailers out of the red and into the black. Meaning if they were not making the sales they need, the shopping frenzy of Black Friday can push them into positive sales. But now, it is not just one day that retailers reap revenue, but two.
Thanksgiving is a national holiday with, albeit questionable roots, but it has been transformed into a holiday for family, food, and traditions. Anyone can participate and it has inspired people to come together and feed the hungry. Even if all of that means nothing to someone, at least Thanksgiving is an almost guaranteed day off. But now, retailers are pushing Black Friday earlier into Thanksgiving day. A lot of people have taken to internet forums to voice their opinions on this matter.
According to debate.org, the consensus is that 80% of people think that stores should not start Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving. The comments on the forum had arguments stating that no one should have to work on a day most Americans get off. They also claim that Black Friday deals promote materialistic ideals over things that actually matter. There are even points that the Black Friday sales, in general, are a facade. Sales in late August and right before Christmas are actually better than Black Friday sales. But, there is more money invested in advertising to promote Black Friday sales.
The main points supporting stores staying open and providing Black Friday sales are that businesses have the right to open when they would like on Thanksgiving. Also, customers that have Thanksgiving off but have to work Black Friday can still take advantage of the deals. Not to mention, seasonal retail workers are hired specifically to work on holidays and not every employee wants to or can take Thanksgiving off. Most stores pay time and a half or a special holiday rate, which can be a great earning opportunity for employees. There’s also a large portion of people that chose not to celebrate Thanksgiving that would like to take advantage of the deals and just going shopping in general. One individual on the forum suggested that stores could open on Wednesday night and then re-open Thursday night into Friday. This would allow time for employees and dedicated shoppers to spend time with family or giving back to their community.
Regardless, this Thanksgiving stores will be open and shoppers will be waiting at their doors in hopes of snagging the best deals. Whether you want to go shopping on Thanksgiving or you have to work, it’s a day to remember what you are thankful for even if you don’t celebrate the holiday. Be thankful you have a job or someone to share a meal with because there are people that aren’t so lucky. Happy Thanksgiving!