How Thanksgiving got served


While tents may pop up in front of stores like Best Buy a week before Black Friday, it should not be taken as a sign that the rest of the world is overly eager to get that flat-screen TV for half off. 

Over the past few years, in an effort to please eager shoppers of the holiday season, major retail chains such as Wal-Mart and JCPenney have moved their Black Friday sales to Thanksgiving Day. 

These stores choosing to open on Thanksgiving Day rather than waiting until Black Friday have been criticized as they take away the limited sales stock from those who would rather rub elbows with family at the dinner table than strangers in a checkout line. 

For instance, JCPenney has announced they will be opening at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, which will likely cause some to ask for turkey to go as they hurry out the door for savings.

Despite a general criticism of stores intruding on Thanksgiving, a New York Times article reported sales in stores for Thursday and Friday shopping actually went up 2.3 percent last year. 

However, there is still hope for the family, as some stores are emphasizing not being open on Thanksgiving Day; for instance, Nordstrom posted to its Facebook that it likes “the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time.” 

The choice to actually keep Black Friday on Friday has gained positive feedback from the public as that Nordstrom post received 20,000 likes on Facebook within 24 hours, according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Other stores refusing to dip into Thanksgiving include Costco; Barnes and Noble; Bed, Bath and Beyond; and GameStop. 

Clearly, those stores keeping the doors shut until the early hours of Black Friday do not want to take employees away from their families just for the sake of starting sales half a day in advance. These retailers understand that consumers will still show up in mass on Black Friday, after all, that is the designated shopping day of the year.

Those retailers opening on Thanksgiving are also at fault for encouraging people to leave their homes on a holiday as customers fear that many of the items they were hoping for will already be cleared from the shelves by those willing to go out early. Not only does this push people to go out to the stores on Thanksgiving, it also robs some shoppers of the fun that comes with taking part in the real Black Friday.

If one is fortunate, then Thanksgiving is a day for family and friends to spend time together and consume massive amounts of food. There should be no reason to put the fork down and hit the stores just to buy material things. What stores like JCPenney and Wal-Mart and some shoppers don’t realize is that going shopping can wait. 

If people choose not to take part in these Thanksgiving Day sales, then stores may get the message that people would rather be home than out shopping. Some retailers already understand the importance of remaining closed on Thanksgiving, now it just needs to be common knowledge that employees and shoppers are better off at home.