EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally appeared around this time last year. This year, the situation is escalating even further, with retailers opening up even earlier. Because this article is truer than ever, we are temporarily placing it on our front page so that more people may be exposed to it. Thanks for reading.
In the last degradation to the family unit in America, retailers across the nation are moving farther and farther into what was once a dead zone in the holiday season — the holiday itself. In recent years, Black Friday had already taken itself to the very limits, with many retailers opting to open at midnight with exceptional deals to attract early shoppers. This year, Black Friday is as good as Black Thanksgiving Day, with major retailers like Target and Walmart now opening their doors at 8:00 P.M. on the holiday itself. Some consumers are excited, glad for more chances at deals and hoping that their odds might be enhanced by less competition if some people don’t know about the early openings or choose to (gasp!) stay with their families instead of invading the local Target. Others think that this is going too far and that retailers are undermining a special time for families in an age when these special times are so few and far between.
Our 24/7 society already requires mothers and fathers to be away from their families at all hours of the day to make a living. Now, the handful of days that were still sacred are being violated as well. A lot of people out there that are excited about shopping at 8:00 P.M. on Thanksgiving Day don’t take into consideration that there are many more people affected by it. Those stores expect huge throngs of shoppers, which means they will have to require many employees of their companies to be there to deal with the deluge. While it might be exciting to some to head out at 7:00 P.M. to stand in line with family and friends and try to catch a killer deal, how exciting is it for the retail workers that have to leave their families at what for many is prime-time Turkey-time to get to their posts. Some retail associates wonder what the point of even closing on Thanksgiving is if they know they have to be at work that evening in the middle of the festivities. And some people say “Oh, well it’s 8:00 P.M. Most people are just sitting on the couch in a coma after their meals.” Well, that too is a misunderstanding of the way these establishments work. Employees can’t simply show up at 8:00 P.M. They will have to be their at least a couple of hours in advance to do their normal opening procedures, prepare displays, and rebuild their stores that were probably massacred in the pre-Thanksgiving rush before they closed. Then, there’s controlling the crowds, determining how to handle the other conspiracy of Black Friday, where not everyone will get the deal they stood in line for, and providing security for shoppers on a mission that sometimes resort to less-than-civil means to get that special deal they had their eyes on. You see, there’s so much more that goes into it than simply opening the doors so shoppers can get a good deal and retailers can make a quick buck.
But why? Why do retailers move the times up? Why not stick with five in the morning? Why move it to midnight? Why 8:00 P.M. now on Thanksgiving evening? The answer is simple, and you have complete control over it. They do it because people will come. People will come in throngs, eager for a chance at a good deal, and with little regard for the fact that their very attendance is basically a vote for what the retailers chose to do. When you go to your local Target at 8:00 P.M. on Thanksgiving, remember that you are the reason they did this. You are the reason those employees had to leave their families and be at work at that very moment. To take care of you, because they knew you would come. You will do whatever it takes, and competition drives the retail industry. If Target wants to open that early, then other retailers will do the same because they feel they have no choice to keep a competitive advantage. And then, slowly, over years, it just becomes normal. Five years from now, you can bet your last buck that retailers will probably be opening up at 6:00 A.M. on Thanksgiving Day and staying open all day. Why? Because they know if they open the door, they will have store full of eager shoppers, many of which who will buy things that are not that great of a deal while they are in there saving fictional hundreds on things like televisions that in all reality are just being sold at cost to get you to come in the door.
The real conspirator here is American consumers. Do you want to be a part of the retailer’s evil plan? No, you say.
Then don’t show up. It wouldn’t take them long to get the message.