I’ve never been a Black Friday person, but I understand the appeal. When you have a lot of people to shop for, saving money wherever you can is important. Understanding this, retailers have over the years pitted human against human on this mad dash to savings, opening at increasingly ungodly hours to let the madness begin earlier and earlier.
But this year, many are opening on Thursday evening instead of Friday morning – Thursday being Thanksgiving, the same day when you’re supposed to take time to be with your family and be thankful for what you have. And I think that’s going too far.
Here’s why: These retail stores employ what C-suite executives like to call “people.”
Thousands of them. And these people will have to cut their Thanksgiving holidays short in order to cater to the masses who want to get their holiday shopping done a few hours earlier than normal. Understandably, many are not happy about this. If stores open at 10, these employees will have to show up at 4 or 5, or even earlier. I’m all about capitalism and getting the economy going again, but this is just wrong.
Take it from someone whose mother has spent the last 20 years in retail. Many times I’ve watched her go to bed early on Thanksgiving because she had to get up at ungodly hours on Black Friday to prepare. The thought of her having to give up half of her Thanksgiving day just so someone can save $50 on a new flat screen TV pisses me off.
And this won’t stop with this year. Blame it on the ever-recession all you want, but if it’s a success, this will become the norm. Just like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become staples of American society, Thanksgiving will disappear, to be replaced with Dealsgiving, the holiday where we get a four day weekend just to shop. Thanksgiving will be a relic from the past that we’ll have to explain to our grandchildren.
There’s a simple way to stop this madness: don’t go.
Don’t be lured away from your families by the appeal of slightly lower prices. Wait eight hours to begin the madness. If retailers see this as not being successful, or if the backlash of people saying “Enough!” gets plenty loud, then maybe we have a chance of stopping this thing. Or at least making a dent.
Because, really, you’re still going to buy your stuff, right? You’ll still stimulate the economy. Your loved ones still need gifts. But on Thanksgiving, they’d rather have your time.