By now we’ve all heard about major retailers opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving day, promising to turn Thanksgiving Day into one of the biggest shopping days of the year. (On a side note, several states including Massachusetts don’t allow stores to open on holidays, so the big box retailers will be promptly opening at 1am on Friday.)
The most surprising move was from Kmart, where executives decided to open stores at 6am on Thanksgiving Day. The announcement by Kmart was quickly followed by Walmart, Target, Kohls and it seemed like almost everyone else. This year, Americans may have to take their turkey on the go instead of enjoying the holiday at home.
I’m a little conflicted on opening stores on Thanksgiving. After all, the holiday is supposed to be about being thankful for the things we already have in our lives. And truly, only in America do we trample over one another and fight for consumer goods the very day after we are thankful for family, friends, and what we already have in our lives. To me, encroaching on Thanksgiving Day just seems… well wrong. As one author put it, it’s easy to forgo shopping on Thanksgiving if for no other reason than to not force some single mom to ring up worthless purchases instead of enjoying Thanksgiving with her children.
But what about that single mom or the man/woman working at Walmart? We all know that Walmart doesn’t pay their workers a liveable wage (a lot of Walmart’s employees are on SNAP or Medicaid). Working retail on a holiday usually means being paid time and a half, a not insignificant amount of money for those struggling to make ends meet.
So is “Black Thanksgiving” really all that bad? I’m still not a fan but the jury could be out. What do y’all think?