Thanksgiving is just a little more than a week away and while some of us are stocking our fridges with all the makings for a big feast, shoppers and bargain-hunters are preparing for what for them is an even bigger holiday – Black Friday. In fact, some shoppers are already camped out in front of their favorite stores in order to be first in line for the big sales, including two women who have been taking turns sitting in front of a California Best Buy since November 5!
Black Thursday Backlash
The demand for deals is so high that many retailers have announced that they are moving their Black Friday sale open dates to the evening of Thanksgiving Day – Black Thursday – or even earlier. These stores have received so much negative press for requiring their employees to work on the national holiday instead of enjoying time with family, that other major retail stores, such as Costco, REI, Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx are making a point that they will be closed on the holiday, receiving positive attention for their statements of recognizing the importance of family.
A Boycott Black Thursday Facebook page has been created to encourage people to not shop at stores that will be open Thanksgiving Day and also gives recognition to those stores staying closed. After receiving employee backlash for announcing it would be open all day on Thanksgiving, Radio Shack reversed its decision and will now offer employees a break from Noon to 5 p.m. to enjoy their holiday dinner.
However, a National Retail Federation survey found that of the shoppers who plan to hit Black Friday sales, 32 percent said they would plan to begin their shopping when stores open Thanksgiving Thursday. With consumers’ clear anticipation for the biggest shopping day of the year, maybe this is enough for some retailers to feel the negative publicity is worth it if the resulting sales will help get them in the black for the year.