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Published on November 19th, 2014 | by Samantha Hymson

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Thanksgiving is the New Black Friday

But is this the wisest decision for these retailers? 

It is my favorite holiday of the year. All my family comes in from out of town. We catch up, eat a huge meal, and then everyone leaves Thanksgiving dinner to go shopping? Not in my family, because that is completely unacceptable.

I am one of the biggest couponers out there and I have bought my family holiday gifts with my own money since I was twelve, so it is clear that I love to save money and buy my friends and family nice things, but Thanksgiving is a day of being surrounded by your family and friends and being thankful for them, not the amazing sales.

As a few select retailers choose to open their stores at 8 p.m. last year on Thanksgiving, more this year have moved to a 6 p.m. opening time. One of these stores, Macy’s, which is also moving to the earlier opening time, stated last year in a press release that their stores would only open “after families across the country have finished their holiday meals and celebrations.” I cannot speak for other families, but 6 p.m. is pretty much the start of my family’s Thanksgiving meal and it usually does not end until at least 9 p.m.

According to a RichRelevance consumer poll, about six out of ten Americans said that they “dislike” or “hate” that stores open on Thanksgiving, while only about 12 percent claim they “like” or “love” the practice.

Many stores are getting a lot of backlash for opening even earlier this year and some stores have decided to stay completely closed on Thanksgiving all together in response to the public opinion. The retailers that have officially announced that they will be staying closed on Thanksgiving include: Coscto, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Dillard’s , Nordstrom, GameStop, DSW, PetCo, Burlington Coat Factory, Marshall’s, Home Goods and T.J. Maxx. Many others will probably be staying closed, but have not yet announced their decision.

Emily Goldberg, FSC sophomore, said “I don’t think Black Friday sales should start on Thanksgiving because more people are likely to start shopping during the holiday instead of spending time with their families, which is what thanksgiving is really about.”

Not only does opening early on Thanksgiving for sales make stores look selfish and greedy it does not even typically make them more money. According to a Wall Street Journal prediction, stores that open on Thanksgiving “risk cannibalizing” sales that they would have made at another time. If the stores would just wait until Black Friday to open, they will make just as many or more sales than if they open on Thanksgiving, as proven last year by the loss in Black Friday total sales in stores that opened on Thanksgiving.

The argument from people who do like to shop on Thanksgiving is that the sales allow them to get items that they otherwise couldn’t afford. However, if we as a nation band together to not shop on Thanksgiving, stores would have to wait until at least midnight on Black Friday to open their doors.

If you are planning on going shopping on Thanksgiving though, FSC junior Amy Lew says, “Walmart is the craziest place to go and it should be avoided at all costs. The outlet stores have awesome sales, but it is impossible to find a parking spot. I suggest going to small local boutiques. No one ever thinks about them and they usually have good sales too.”

On Thanksgiving you should spend time with your families and not be shopping. But if you still want to shop on Thanksgiving, please remember it is you who is keeping the store employees from their families on one of nation’s most celebrated and favorite holidays. Thanksgiving is about giving and sharing and your selfishness in shopping on Thanksgiving is destroying the American tradition. So just keep all that in mind when shopping on Thanksgiving instead of waiting a just few hours until Black Friday actually starts.

 

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About the Author

I am a junior Elementary Education and Interpersonal and Organizational Communications double major. I am the new Opinions Editor as well as the Advertising Manger for The Southern. Please feel free to contact me about writing opinions or advertising in the Southern through email at: shymson@mocs.flsouthern.edu.



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