Working in retail around this time of year is crazy. Black Friday is just around the corner, and with it brings sales, sales, sales. The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday got my mind going this week. I’ve been thinking about how much things have changed since I was a kid, especially when it comes to holidays and retail. Let me explain.
As a child, and even into my teenage years, I recall most retail outlets being closed on the major holidays. It was even difficult to find many gas stations or pharmacies open on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many stores were even closed on Sunday, if you can imagine! The retail stores, at one time, recognized the need for families to be together on holidays and closed their doors. That is no longer the case. Somewhere along the way, stores decided to associate holiday with $ALE. Even Labor Day, which was intended as a day to celebrate and honor the worker, has now turned into another day to make one labor more. We now have sales for most of the major holidays, and many minor ones (President’s Day Sale, Columbus Day Sale, etc.). It seems the only reason our capitalist society cares about holidays anymore is to make a buck.
This year things have gotten out of hand, in my opinion. Many retailers are opening either late Thanksgiving night or in the wee hours of Friday morning. I work at Target, and we are opening at midnight. Wal-Mart will open at 10 pm Thursday night, and I believe K-Mart is open Thanksgiving Day. I’m sure that the next step for many retailers will be to open all day Thanksgiving and treat it as a normal day. After that I guess we’ll see Christmas Eve hours extended and Christmas Day openings.
I understand the drive behind the decisions, but I can’t bring myself to like it. I’ll admit that I did, for several years, battle the crowds on Black Friday and shop at 4:00 am. But, that time didn’t interfere with family time on Thanksgiving Day. Now, many families cannot be together because employees in retail stores have to work. It just doesn’t seem right.
With that said, I’m curious. Will you be shopping Thanksgiving night or in the wee hours of Friday morning? Are you more or less likely to shop this year than in years past since the stores are opening earlier? I would love your comments.