The steady move toward stores opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day in order to boost Black Friday sales has reached a tipping point—Thanksgiving may as well not be considered a holiday for retailers.
One woman’s husband has decided he’s no longer going to stand for his. Bill Nichols’s wife has been an employee of JCPenny for the last 30 years, yet when she requested Thanksgiving Day off, the store did not comply, despite her years of dedicated service to the company.
Not only should a long-standing employee not be forced to work Thanksgiving, but all workers should be given the option to take the full holiday off, rather than cater to the needs of neverending consumer greed.
In response, Nichols began a Change.org petition that has already garnered over 80,000 signatures, fighting to close JCPenny on Thanksgiving Day. He’s not alone—there are over 100 Change.org petitions fighting for similar goals with other major retailers such as Target, Walmart, and Macy’s.
Nichols sees only one solution to the problem: “Don’t shop on Thanksgiving Day.” It only exacerbates the problem by demonstrating to retailers that opening on Thanksgiving will increase consumer appeal.
This anti-Thanksgiving Day shopping movement, or “Save Thanksgiving,” has been crystallizing during the last few years, but now clearly come to a head: Change.org created a video that illuminates the exact problems of Thanksgiving Day shopping. We hear it from the mouths of service employees themselves; Jessica Risco insists that it is “the choice between paying bills and maintaining employment and being with family and friends.”
Read More: The Evolution of Black Friday
Some national retailers, such as Nordstrom, Marshalls, and REI, understand this, and are committed to closing for the entirety of Thanksgiving. Although undoubtedly intended to enhance its branding and image, this REI commercial that urges individuals to #OptOutside instead of partaking in Black Friday shopping nevertheless sends a positive, powerful message.
Basic human compassion for those who want to spend time with their family on Thanksgiving should dictate store hours—there is plenty of time for everyone to max out their credit cards on Black Friday.
Banner Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Azt3r1x