When I was a kid, I remembered Black Friday as the day my family refused to leave the house. As we purchased ingredients for Thanksgiving, we also stocked up for the days ahead as my father wanted no part in shopping mania and packed parking lots, no matter how cheap items were. But seeing how early stores are opening for this Black Friday, I hope none of us forgets so much as a can of cranberries come dinner time as some very prominent stores are opening up the evening of Thanksgiving.
No joke. Walmart, which is America’s biggest retailer, will be opening its Black Friday doors at 10 pm on Thanksgiving. Not to be undone, Target is opening their doors on midnight and Macy’s says that its customers can line up the evening of Thanksgiving for some sort of midnight surprise.
I understand that these are tough economic times and that everyone is looking to make profits where they can, but this deliberate cut into family time seems a bit aggressive. Are parents really going to rush through Thanksgiving dinner to load the kids in the car and battle their neighbors over dish sets at Target? Will tipsy, stuffed with stuffing grandparents waddle about the floor and load up on Christmas lights?
We may be slightly out of the recession, but some American families are still struggling to eat — which makes a sale on shoes and sweaters seem a little trivial. Considering that America is experiencing a swing towards more traditional values in response to the economic crisis, I wonder how initiatives like Target’s or Walmart’s will be received.
At present, Target’s employees are far from happy as opening the store at midnight means that they have to arrive at work at 11 pm — so right when the pumpkin pie is digesting. So far, 50,000 people have signed a petition asking Target to consider open its doors at 5 am so that employees can spend the entire evening with their families.
Although I won’t be jumping out of my Thanksgiving dinner to snatch on-sale merchandise, I certainly won’t be knowing that employees are being denied time at home with their loved ones.