View Full Version : Shop on Thanksgiving???

11-22-2011, 12:00 PM
I saw an interesting article (http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/22/opinion/ancel-thanksgiving-shop/index.html?hpt=hp_t3) on CNN and wondered what you guys think. Please keep this away from politics.

Here is how I see it...Black Friday is a great day for families and individuals to get good deals before Christmas. Considering these hard economic times what could be better than a good deal on something you wanted to buy but could not afford it at regular price? OK, having said that, the other benefit of Black Friday was increased hours for those employees due to stores opening earlier than normal. For the past decade or so, 5-6 AM was the standard. Most of them employees I talked to over the years appreciated the extra hours on their paycheck but did not like getting up so early.

This year will be the biggest year for companies to open at Midnight. This on average, has the store open 8 hours longer than normal working hours so there are even more hours to work BUT it also means not getting any sleep after a big Thanksgiving meal. It seems to be a catch 22 because the extra hours on the paycheck are nullified by having to work on a holiday (even though most people are done celebrating by that time).

I personally prefer the stores to open early on Friday morning and preserve tradition (even if it is only really a decade or so old). When I was salary, I worked as much time as I possibly could so I would have been jumping for the chance to work these hours, but then again, it would absolutely SUCK to work on Thanksgiving (some of these people have to be in an hour or so before the doors open at midnight).

In the article one employee is quoted as saying, <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">"A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation -- all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night's rest on Thanksgiving!" </div></div>I tend to agree with him to a point. I mean seriously, what do the stores benefit by opening earlier than 6 AM?

Anyone out there stand in lines for the deals? I have been doing it for at least the last 10 years but haven't been in line for myself for at least the last 7 years. I have family members who see stuff in the ads and like the prices but just are not able to stand in the line for them so I fill in on their behalf. We have a goup of people that do it every year so it is now kind of a game. We sit around and play games, hang out, people bring up food, we watch movies, etc. While I like the idea of being done with my shopping by 12:03 AM I still don't see the point in opening that early when most of the employees would prefer a few more hours of sleep. I am there on my own free will (and really so are the employees) but the employees do it for the paycheck and if there is no benefit for the early opening then why do it?


11-22-2011, 04:42 PM
I personally don't get why anyone would need to shop on that particular day. Or get in line a week ahead of time and camp there. I think there are sales all through to the holiday, and if you really want a bargain, wait until the day after XMas for the very best discounts of all.

And I think it is a measure of the irrationality of our retailing businesses that they make most of their profit for the entire year during this season. That's a weird marketing model-- needing the guilt of a holiday season to get people to go into debt to buy things people don't need, just to keep the retailing sector profitable? Doesn't make sense to me.

The part about going from an absurd 5 am opening time to a slightly more absurd 12 am opening time is the least of what bothers me about this. That seems a more logical follow-on to the practice of early opening, however much it messes up the poor retail workers (which I'd agree it probably does).

11-22-2011, 10:37 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">And I think it is a measure of the irrationality of our retailing businesses that they make most of their profit for the entire year during this season. </div></div>How do you figure it is the retailers fault that the consumers wait till this time of year to shop for Christmas? Are there any industries which cater to the public that don't have up and down times throughout the year? The car industry certainly does, retail does, what doesn't?


11-23-2011, 07:32 PM
How do you figure it is the retailers fault that the consumers wait till this time of year to shop for Christmas?

I don't actually think that, although my perhaps sloppy phrasing suggested I do. I'm really complaining about our society's setting up this dynamic-- retailers merely play the hand that is dealt them, and I don't knock them for it.

Oddly, this commercialization of Christmas was invented within historical times in England, and the Puritans, once they arrived in our proto-country, made laws against such displays and celebrations. So the first law about Christmas in this country, from Christian believers, was that the now-traditional Christmas celebration was illegal.

The oddity that I'm pointing out is that our retailers would go out of business, or do no more than break even and that isn't why people are in business, except for a veritable orgy of spending (and in America, that means going into more debt), based on a pagan religion or religions. Some Christians, like the Jehovah Witnesses, explicitly agree that Christmas as we know it is quite the pagan holiday with a pagan pedigree, and they refuse to participate in it, just as the early church did not celebrate it either.