- Category: Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)
- Published: 20 November 2013
Thanksgiving Day celebrations should be about catching up with family members and friends who have traveled long distances for the special occasion, stuffing your faces with trays upon trays of food and lounging around watching football. The holiday should not be celebrated by standing in hour-long lines, fighting the bitter, ruthless blasts of cold wind, and racing for the last 40-inch plasma screen TV that is discounted at 50 percent off at your local Best Buy.
This holiday, stores like Kmart are turning Black Friday into "Black Thursday" with sales starting as early as 6 am on Thanksgiving Day. Kmart is allowing its customers to shop for 41 hours straight starting Thursday morning until 11 pm the next day. Kmart and other stores such as Sears, which are open from 8 pm on Thursday until 10 pm on Friday, are providing customers with the urge to ditch family members and friends just to go on a hectic shopping spree before the turkey is even out of the oven.
According to an article published in the Huffington Post on Nov. 12, Kmart has been open on Thanksgiving Day for 22 years and has been offering their regular and seasonal associates holiday pay; however, this is the first year that Kmart is not closing for a few hours before reopening for Black Friday.
One editor of The Outlook said, "We are feeding into our consumer based society that has taken over our holiday seasons. It reinforces the idea that in order to show someone you love them you need to get them something of financial value. The holidays should be about showing [family members] you love them through spending time together."
This invasion of the holiday season is unacceptable to majority of employees that have to work and to families that fall victim to this cruelty and injustice.
It is predicted by The American Automobile Association that 93.3 million Americans are expected to take a trip this Thanksgiving, which will increase holiday travel by 1.6 percent. People aren't traveling these distances to go visit their relatives behind the register of a Kmart.
The corporate nature of America is stripping away the value of the holiday season. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a holiday is defined as a special day of celebration on which one is "exempt from work." This definition is holding to be untrue today with media over-commercializing and stressing the importance of discounts.
One of the editors at The Outlook has to work at Wet Seal this Black Friday and is absolutely furious.
Extremely outraged workers have even started petitions asking shoppers to boycott stores like Kmart.
Some consumers that are intense bargain hunters, on the other hand, heard these announcements and probably did cartwheels up and down their street. Some employees that enjoy earning the time-and-a-half pay raise for the occasion probably did the same. One editor said, "I work every Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and I love it. I make extra money and I don't mind missing out on some of the family dinner because I know that when I get out they will still be there and so will the food."
What both stores and bargain hunters fail to realize, however, is most of the fun of Black Friday is searching for the right discounts at the right stores during the allotted time constraint.
Opening stores a day earlier forces shopaholics to forfeit family time in exchange for the power to purchase discounted merchandise before it all runs out.
Some Kmart stores in Mass and RI will not open on Thanksgiving Day because of state and territorial laws that place restrictions on retail store hours during holidays.
Stores that aren't opening nationally at all on Thanksgiving Day include Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club and Nordstrom. It is great to know that some CEOs and executive members of corporations, value family more than sales, and are willing to close to allow every employee the freedom to enjoy the holiday.
The editors at The Outlook agree people shouldn't be forced to clock-in on holidays, especially Thanksgiving. Black Friday should stick to being on Friday, so that way, stores can still have a source of revenue, but not for an extended two days.
Thanksgiving is about giving back, and employers should implement this philosophy by unscheduling their employees, closing their stores, and giving this precious holiday time back to those who were involved in this conundrum.