How to Combat Retailers Open on Thanksgiving

It’s that “most wonderful” time of the year again! Thanksgiving is already fast-approaching, and soon enough it will be Christmas. But we can’t forget about that super important day that falls in between those two beloved holidays: Black Friday.

Black Friday is probably the craziest time of year, where fights ensue between angry mothers determined to all get the hottest ticket (and limited in stock) items of the season at the lowest possible price. A lot of people hate Black Friday, and would likely do a whole list of unpleasant things before trekking out to wait in the dreaded long lines and tight crowds.



Others thrive on Black Friday. Waking up early the day after Thanksgiving and heading out to the malls and outlets to shop has become a tradition for many. Some people also take their Black Friday shopping very seriously. A lot of prep and research goes into scoping out where the best deals are located. Some people come up with full-on battle plans.

Over the past few years, Black Friday has started to expand. Traditionally it seemed that most stores would open their doors at 6 a.m. to welcome the usual long line of eager shoppers. A lot of stores have started offering deals and opening their doors on Thanksgiving night. Some retailers have even dared to open during the day. The trend seems to be going towards opening earlier and earlier.



This, of course, has sparked a lot of warranted outrage. Thanksgiving is supposed to be about spending time with family and friends. It’s ridiculous for retailers to make their employees work on the holiday. They should be home with their loved ones. That’s what everyone on social media believes, anyway. And I agree that it's true, but screaming about it on Twitter isn’t going to change things. You can complain about a store opening at 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day all you want, but it’s not going to be enough to sway the big corporations.

The only reason that these stores are opening their doors earlier and earlier is because they know that customers will come through. Yes, it would be wonderful if these companies could take initiative themselves and remain closed on Thanksgiving, but that just isn’t going to happen anytime soon. All they see is dollar signs, and they know that they can make a profit by being open on Thanksgiving. They know that their promise of “great deals” and the hype of Black Friday is enough bait to draw consumers in.



When I worked in retail, I had to work Thanksgiving. I wasn’t happy about it, but I also was a young college student that needed the money and didn’t want to get fired. It was all hands on deck, and no one was getting Thanksgiving off. When we got swamped with customers all day long, I knew exactly why. I had never seen so many customers at once in our store (until the next day, when I worked my first Black Friday). My favorite part about working Thanksgiving was all the customers that came through my line pitying me, and telling me it was awful that I had to work that day. Didn’t they realize that it was not my boss who was to blame, but them? If no one was working at our store, how could this woman have come in to go shopping?

If we really want to make sure that retail workers can spend their Thanksgiving with family, then consumers need to band together and… not go shopping on Thanksgiving. Literally, that’s it.



You can preach up and down on social media about how wrong it is for stores to open on Thanksgiving Day, but it won’t be effective. If you really want to make a difference, then you won’t get in one of those lines on Thanksgiving to purchase a discounted TV, and you’ll encourage your friends and family to do the same.

If you truly want retail workers to be home with their families on Thanksgiving, then you will do just that: Spend Thanksgiving with your family, and not at the mall.