• Mon, Nov 12 2012

Toys R Us Joining Hands With Other Scroogy Businesses Intent On Moving Black Friday To Thanksgiving

I’m not a Black Friday person. I never have been. For me the day after Thanksgiving is used as a sort of “boxing” day in my house. We clean, we donate items (including a lot of neglected toys from last Christmas), we prepare for the upcoming Christmas season. We eat leftovers and play games and I will, on occasion, check online retailers to see if anyone is running any amazing sales. But I don’t go out shopping. I hate crowds. I hate people getting shot in crowds while standing in line for a three dollar coffee maker. So it’s with dismay that I just learned that Toys ‘R Us is joining Wal Mart in opening their doors on Thanksgiving, the actual holiday.

I know a lot of parents rely on Black Friday to get the bulk of their shopping done for the upcoming holiday season. The economy sucks, Barbies are expensive, and if someone wants to wake up at 3 a.m. and stand in line in the cold to buy shit then that is their prerogative. It just isn’t mine. I’d rather have less under the tree than less time with my family on an actual holiday, a day when we are supposed to count our blessings and give thanks for all we have. But this turning Thanksgiving into a day of shopping is really starting to piss me off. I know no one is forcing me to go out shopping before I have eaten a second piece of pie, but when more and more retailers are making this a thing will the days of a relaxing holiday with family and friends soon be as nostalgic as whatever piece of overpriced plastic garbage we waited in line for last year that is now broken at the bottom of the toy box?

From the LA Times:

Toys R Us will open its doors to Black Friday shoppers at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving, an hour earlier than last year, joining the crowd of retailers launching door busters barely after turkey dinners are finished.

8 p.m. is not shopping time! It is having another glass of wine and putting on Christmas music and cuddling with the kids on the sofa time! And it’s not just me who is annoyed by this, think of the retail employees who have to cut time with their loved ones short and rush in to work so they can deal with aggressive and yelling customers.

Not everyone is pleased with the earlier Black Friday hours. Workers and shoppers have created more than 20 online petitions on Change.org asking retailers to delay opening so they can have more time with their families on Thanksgiving.

The world can have its Black Friday on the day after Thanksgiving. Toys R Us is ruining Thanksgiving not only for parents who would rather spend time enjoying the holiday with their families rather than shopping but for the people it employs who are expected to show up to work and cut their holiday short. I may have to look longer and harder to find whatever hot toy my kids want for Christmas. I may have to spend a few more dollars to purchase it. But I’ll be spending Thanksgiving the way I always have, full on food, warm with my family, and slightly drunk on the sofa.

(photo:  charles taylor/shutterstock)

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  • Andrea

    Thank you. Another chain I will no longer be shopping at. I think this is despicable. Forcing employees to work on this holiday is shitty. This isn’t emergency personnel people, it’s freakin shopping! Give it a REST!

  • LiteBrite

    First of all, Eve, welcome back! I hope your recovery is going well and you’re feeling good.

    I’m not a Black Friday person either. My years of working retail in various capacities have soured me on the Christmas shopping season forever. I don’t even shop online on Black Friday, preferring instead to chow down on leftover stuffing and put up Christmas decor. I would be okay with retailers’ crazy holidays hours if employees were actually given a choice to work those hours; however, I know from my own retail experience they’re not.

    Someone once said, “Well, retailers are just filling a need by opening on holidays.” No, they’re not. I still remember the days when retailers were not open on Thanksgiving and most even closed in the early afternoon on Christmas Eve. Somehow shoppers managed to get their shopping done without retailers being open nearly 24/7 during the holiday season.

    But for all of our talk about how crappy we think opening on Thanksgiving is, the simple truth is that there are people who will love it, who will take advantage of the earlier shopping time, and retailers next year will probably open even earlier.

    • chickadee

      I guarantee you that there will be video and photos of people camping out in front of these stores having their actual Thanksgiving dinners so that they can save 20% on a crappy, weirdly-named flat screen television.

      If this happened last year, please don’t tell me. It’s SO depressing….

    • CV

      You hit the nail on the head. And I thought it was bad when I didn’t get out of work on Thanksgiving til 2 a.m. (after closing up the store that technically closed at ten…), and had to be back at work 2 a.m. the Friday for a 4 a.m. opening (management). No choice. Management (don’t kid yourself, we didn’t make that kind of coin…barely five figures in 2000) had zero choice on opening and closing on the night before, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, and the morning after Christmas. Was it my choice to work retail? Well, give the other was to default on student loans, default on car payment, default on rent….sure.

  • chickadee

    I do like Black Friday shopping, but I like doing it ON Friday, and I remember when it was super-amazing to open the store at 6!!!!!111!!!!!1! (this would be when my eldest was a baby).

    I have found many splendid gifts on FRIDAY and since I never want the draw-you-in electronic items that are OMG AWESOME CHEAP (and, according to multiple electronics sites, are also lower-quality versions of their mainstream products that are not such a great deal after all) I can find plenty of bargains on FRIDAY after the sun comes up. Because I never felt it was worth it to get to Kohl’s at 3 am in order to get a knockoff iPod player for AWESOME CHEAP (and have it break several months later), nor to Target to get Littlest Pet Shop sets for $3.00 off the regular price.

    FRIDAY.

    Not Thanksgiving Day. Ever. And also, not on FRIDAY in the dark. I am not crazy.

  • Tea

    This year my retail-working husband is celebrating that he only had to be in to work at 5 this year, not 2:30 in the morning like last year’s black Friday.

    That is sad.

    We make the best of it. I make it a tradition of staying up all night (I telecommute and work
    nights) and cooking him a hot breakfast before I go to bed. Last year his store was open on Thanksgiving, and attendance was mandatory despite it being dead, so he completely missed out on all holiday family time because he was working 10-6 Thanksgiving, and had to be in to work at 2:30 the next morning.

  • Jaclyn Flores

    Old Navy is open for most of the day on Thanksgiving, and despite the image they try to put out that they are all about family, they are absolutely not about family when you work for them. I missed my daughter’s first Thanksgiving because I was required to work.

  • Sabrina

    Get over it people will do what they want and if your wasting your time bitching on here it doesn’t seem you’re getting in very much of that family time you are whining about