It only takes one look at a Youtube video of Black Friday deal seekers stampeding through the doors of a Target to deter many people from venturing out into the madness. For the employees of these stores, it is impossible to avoid the hysteria and many have to give up their Thanksgiving with family in order to accommodate the rush of customers. Even worse, many of the mega stores like Macy’s, Target, Sears and Toys R Us are beginning their sales on Thursday, before some Thanksgiving Day meals are even enjoyed. This transition is due to the new perks of online holiday shopping and the extended deals that these sites are offering. Black Friday is no longer just restricted to the Friday after Thanksgiving, causing many retailers to panic over the money they could potentially be losing. For the most part, consumers have not punished retailers for staying open on Thanksgiving–even though it is subject to a lot of criticism.
Some companies are taking a stand this year by remaining closed on Thanksgiving, which may set a precedent that other companies could be forced to follow in coming years. Costco, the second largest retailer in the U.S. after Wal-Mart, is closed on Thanksgiving and has taken the stance that employees deserve to be off. Some big name companies are sacrificing the financial benefit of keeping their doors open today to allow their employees to spend the holiday with their families. This makes the companies appear to genuinely care about their employees, which is important in an age where income inequality and minimum wage are hot-button issues. Aside from the surface benefits of staying closed on Thanksgiving, these companies may have made a beneficial marketing move. By showing support for the family, these companies leave customers with a good impression, which may give them the edge when Black Friday comes around.
Thanksgiving should be spent with family and friends eating turkey and watching football not at the mall struggling against strangers for discounted TV. Black Friday isn’t going anywhere, but maybe other companies will see the example set by businesses like Gamestop and Crate & Barrel and help stop the infiltration of Thanksgiving. So enjoy your Thanksgiving without the stampedes and crowds, that’s all tomorrow.
Brandon Hawkins, Bobby Huckabee, Savanna Mitchell, Tony Mangili, Danielle Salas