Black Thursday’ Threatens Thanksgiving Tradition

By, Hanna Foster | Opinion Column

The time of year formally known as Thanksgiving is filled with turkey, football and family. Or at least that is how it should be.

In recent years, the meaning of Thanksgiving has become misconstrued by the capitalist agenda. Thanksgiving no longer feels like the day-long celebration of family and giving thanks but is instead just another excuse for businesses to make more money.

I know that this seems like a rather large claim, but I say this due to the overwhelming increase in establishments opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day in order to begin their Black Friday sales. Not only are these businesses drawing customers away from their holiday festivities, but are also keeping their employees from celebrating with their families.

This phenomenon happens every year. Stores open their doors earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day in order to compete with others and boost Black Friday revenue. According to a Nov. 4 Time article, Macy’s announced that it would be beginning its Black Friday sales at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Shortly after, Kohl’s and Sears followed suit and stated that they, too, were going to be opening at 6 p.m. In order to keep up with the competition, JCPenney announced a 5 p.m. opening on Thanksgiving Day, when just two years ago they closed their stores on this holiday.

These are just a few of the many examples. Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Toys R Us all have reputations of opening earlier and earlier each year, with Wal-Mart generally utilizing its usual 24 hours of operation. Meanwhile, Kmart has now announced it will be opening its doors at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving morning and then remaining open for a solid 42 hours.

It is clear that these businesses are more concerned about their profits than their employees or customer satisfaction. According to Time, about 45 percent of consumers say that they will shop, to some degree, on Thanksgiving day or evening. However, roughly six in ten Americans say that they dislike stores being open on Thanksgiving, while about a total of 12 percent claim that they actually like it.

Furthermore, the Facebook page Boycott Black Thursday has roughly 97,000 likes. This page advises consumers to avoid shopping at businesses that open on Thanksgiving and to instead spend their money at retailers that remain closed on this holiday.

I, for one, completely agree with the distaste for “Black Thursday.” I would even argue that the overwhelming consensus is most Americans dislike retailers opening their doors on this otherwise family-oriented holiday. It takes the focus away from family and shifts it onto corporate America.

The problem is that when these businesses open their doors, they are taking their employees away from their loved ones. They are influencing others to leave their families in order to “get the best sales.” They are agenda-setting for the capitalist regime while diminishing the holiday’s true purpose of uniting family.

Hanna Foster is an opinion columnist with the University Star where this story originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the University Star and the San Marcos Corridor News | @CorridorNews

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