Shoppers say ‘no’ to Black Thursday

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Shoppers love a deal. But that love might not be unconditional.

As more retailers open their doors on Thanksgiving to kick off Black Friday sales, some shoppers are saying enough is enough.

There are currently 71 petitions on Change.org that call for retailers and consumers to change their approach to Black Friday.

The “Say No To Shopping on Thanksgiving” Facebook page has nearly 65,000 likes, while “Boycott Black Thursday” has more than 114,000.

Hallie Dilworth, a freshman at the University of Tennessee, launched her petition to keep retailers closed on Thanksgiving after a friend was pressured to work the holiday at his fast food job because other stores in the mall were going to be open.

“Thanksgiving should be spent at home with the family, enjoying the company and food. It should be spent being grateful for what we have, not pushing through crowds trying to get deals on things we don’t even need.”

Her petition has 17,500 signatures. While Dilworth also doesn’t support Black Friday, she knows some people enjoy it, and is only looking to preserve Thanksgiving as a shopping-free holiday.

Historically, Black Friday is one of the biggest days of the year for retailers, but it’s no longer a one-day event. This year, the National Retail Federation said 140 million consumers report they are likely to shop over the weekend. But only 18% plan to shop on Thanksgiving, down from 23.5% last year.

The majority of the petitions on Change.org that call for retailers to be closed on Thanksgiving specifically call out Walmart, Target and Best Buy.

But there’s a reason stores are open on turkey day: there’s demand. “If they weren’t making a profit on being open that day, you can bet your bottom dollar they would be closed,” said Marianne Bickle, chair of the retailing and fashion merchandising department at the University of South Carolina. “People are shopping.”

The trend of opening on Thanksgiving is fairly recent, and sales are starting earlier each year. Macy’s is open at 6:00 p.m. this Thursday, two hours earlier than last year and four hours earlier than the midnight open in 2012. At K-Mart, deal-seekers can start shopping at 6:00 a.m. this year, when most people haven’t even started their meal preparations.

When one retailer opens early, more are likely to follow suit — often referred to as “holiday creep.” In her petition, Dilworth wrote: “If we go shopping the night of November 27 this year, next year the stores will open earlier, and the following year even earlier until Thanksgiving is no longer a holiday.”

As for Bickle, she’ll spend Thursday at home with her family. But she does plan to hit the shops with her niece on Friday. “It’s about more than just savings, it’s also about the excitement and bonding.”

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7 comments

  • Real working American

    You can thank Republicans for the working class being slaves. In other countries you get 5 weeks paid vacation, free healthcare, free education including college, 35 hour work weeks, and just a better quality of life. As long as Republicans have control of anything that will never ever change. All Republicans are going to do is try to give more money to corporations, oil tycoons, CEOs (that translates into the working class or small business in Republican terms, which is a lie Republicans frequently tell), and that’s all at the expense of real working Americans, and real small businesses. So, you want change throw Republicans out of Congress and repeal everything they’ve done in the last 30 years, and we’ll see progress, but not before.

    • Hmm Not

      I do believe that people who think that a person HAS to work on this holiday or else are wrong on this.
      The bottom line is corporate greed plain and simple. I can talk the talk because I have walked the walk in that field. I would probably be speaking for 90-95% of ALL Retail Employees if I where to say keep the stores doors closed on Thanksgiving. Let’s face it, CEO’s, CFO’s & so on down to middle managemnet DO NOT work on Thanksgiving. and do not give me the BS they do. Working from home on their lap top reviewing past years trends and metrics to this years is simply not the same as manning a cashier stand or stocking shelves. Yes some would say “well thats their job”
      I would say ok then well lets give them a holiday off to spend with their families guarnteed once a year.
      Corporate Greed And Nothing More Plain And Simple.
      Then people wonder why are families suffering, because we are bound to corporate greed whoose most companies do not even have their corporate hradquarters here.

      • carol

        Exactly. Well said! Thanksgiving is a family get together Holiday. All the greed in this world is part of what’s killing the families. I am so glad the parking lots were empty. Besides places like Walmart do not pay double time to work on Holidays. They scoot around that by giving part time hours that week, it give g you a “comp” dsy. Which is time off. But it’s not equal because it’s double time on Holidays?

  • Ron Melancon

    To all the shoppers today may one day your Chikdren get the forced mandatory day to work on Thanksgiving. Who’d you go out and shop for your precious children some of them will one day work retail and will one day miss your thanksgiving meal all because if greedy parents like you. If you ship today you are all careless people

  • carol

    Sorry I disagree! Both parties need an overhaul. It’s gotten down to NOT voting parties anymore, but voting for the one with the MAJOR I TY of good ideas for our country as a whole.