Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Store Closures. Yea or Nay?

I’ve always been firmly in the stores-should-stay-closed-on-Thanksgiving camp. For a few reasons, but mostly because I feel like it should be a day to reflect on what we currently have, not going out and purchasing new stuff. And also because I think employees should get to stay home with their families one day a year.

This is especially true for me as my husband has a job that typically requires him to work on all US-recognized holidays. If he’s lucky, he’ll get one or two off a year. This isn’t a big deal for us as we’ve learned to adapt and we’re grateful that he gets to use these comp days on vacations during other times of the year. But still: when most everybody is home with their families, he’s sitting in front of a computer screen in a virtually empty office building.

So, I was pleased to see this article today about stores that had made a conscious decision to stay closed on Thanksgiving, despite the probable loss of business. Here are places I’d like to patronize, I thought. Places that value their employees and also believe that Thanksgiving should be a time of reflection, not mad buying sprees.

And all was hunky-dory until I got down to the last paragraph in which a woman pointed out that many employees might be grateful for the extra cash that working on a holiday provides. Eek. Gratitude, yes, but for a completely different reason.

What do you think? Should stores open on holidays? Will you be a Thanksgiving shopper? What about Black Friday?

I am still stubbornly refusing to venture forth on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the entire weekend, for that matter. Unless we run out of ice cream. Then I’m changing my opinions on store closures immediately. :)




  1. I agree. Keep 'em closed. I also think that if people want to work on Thanksgiving "for the money" then they are already underpaid- thus keeping them "open" is a bandaid patch for a hemorrhaging reality for some families. Sad as that is. The justice issue is elsewhere. Let people be at home. Let us all be at home...

  2. I agree... however, so many of the articles I read commented about how the employees were grateful for the extra money, hours, and holiday pay. Hm.

    But then my friend commented that managers and supervisors are also required to work, and the extra money/hours/holiday rate pay wasn't as much of a perk for them, but they have to come in. Hm.

    But, I think I have a bigger problem with where this is leading. Opening up at 6 or 8... not as much of an issue as to where it's leading: Not being closed. I think that's the bigger issue (as is overall low pay for clerks as another commenter mentioned). I was shocked to learn our local Walmart and Safeway WERE going to be open.... Is opening at ALL on Thanksgiving pushing us to be open all day on Thanksgiving? I have more of a values issue with that than I do a 6pm or 8pm start (mostly because employees can still get quality time with family prior to those times).

  3. Whups, should clarify that Walmart and Safeway were open ALL DAY LONG, not just in the evening.

  4. Anonymous12:36 PM

    Likewise on the working most holidays... finance will do that. We get 7 days a year and weekends : /

    Ok about the stores - I do think they should be closed on Thanksgiving but I'm OK if they open on Friday. I just won't be there then!

  5. I’m so glad to see that other folks are in favor of a Thanksgiving Day closure. Given that there aren’t any other days in the year that allow us to be home (Christmas is facing the same dilemma as Thanksgiving, in terms of open store hours), it would be nice to have one day that we could keep special for everyone. Wishful thinking, I know! Just ask all the firefighters that have to zip around putting out all those Thanksgiving Day grease fires!

  6. Ryan,

    I have the same feelings about Black Friday - there is very, very little out there that could compel me to haul myself out of bed in the wee hours of Friday morning to face the mobs of shoppers. Sounds like my worst nightmare.