By Lindsey Sullivan
Assistant Editorials Editor
In many stores this year, including Walmart, Kmart, and Macy’s, Black Friday will begin on Thursday night. The seemingly premature opening of stores has led to a debate over the moral righteousness of capitalism creeping into a traditionally family-oriented holiday. However, there is no moral problem for stores to open on Thanksgiving.
Our nation grants stores, excluding liquor stores and car dealerships, the right to decide their store hours based on management discretion and customer demand—a freedom that helps businesses stay afloat in the competitive market. Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales attract shoppers and help stores to turn a profit.
By opening on Thanksgiving, stores are not infringing on tradition, but instead fulfilling customer desires. Stores extending their Black Friday hours are simply supplying the demand of the American public, as they are opening in accordance with customer request.
According to the National Retail Federation, the current statistics state that the turnout for shoppers this year on “Black Thursday” will be less than last year; however, this fact should be viewed with skepticism. The spokesperson for the National Federation, Kathy Grannis explained that Thursday night will end up being much busier than projected. “You’re done with dinner, you’ve got family in town, you’re bored, it’s Thursday night at 7pm,” she said. “That’s the same mentality that goes into every shopper’s mind every year.”
Instead of attacking the stores that are trying to survive in today’s competitive economy, we should instead take a step back and reevaluate why Black Friday is expanding into Thanksgiving—the fact that Americans just want to get a jump on deals or start some holiday shopping. Opening stores on Thanksgiving does not force people to leave their families and go shopping — it simply gives the option for people to get a head start on Black Friday sales.
By Daanya Salmanullah
No, stores should not open or begin Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day. Instead, Black Friday deals should be restrained only to the day of Black Friday itself.
Opening stores on the night of Thanksgiving first and foremost only supports America’s overly consumeristic culture. By beginning sales on Thanksgiving instead of on the following day, corporations are giving people excuses to leave their family dinners and go shopping instead, completely undermining the true purpose of the holiday. Thanksgiving is a day dedicated to being grateful for the good things in one’s life and spending time with family through the act of communion — not to get up mid-meal to go stand in line for Walmart’s sale on appliances.
In addition, opening stores on Thanksgiving not only gives potential buyers the option to leave dinner to shop, but it also forces commercial employees to leave their friends and families in order to prepare stores for the largest crowds of the year. Oftentimes, workers will have their longest shifts of the year on Black Friday due to the extensive hours of sales, so they should get more rest time the day before as well as time to enjoy the holiday of Thanksgiving with their families. Restraining Black Friday sale hours will allow both shoppers and workers to have a better Thanksgiving weekend.
Lastly, extending Black Friday deals through both Thanksgiving Day and the day of Black Friday often connotes a myriad of different sales, which leads to customer confusion. A major impulse leading shoppers to leave their homes late Thanksgiving Day to go shopping is that the best deals of Black Friday are only available within the first few hours of opening. Quickly throughout the day, sales keep changing. Running too many sales and staying open too long has proven to confuse customers, resulting in shoppers going to stores with simpler sale layouts.