It was bad enough when the nation’s largest retailers turned the day after Thanksgiving into Black Friday. The stores open as early as 5 a.m. and employees have to roll out of bed at 3 a.m. to be at work an hour before the stores open.
Shoppers lined up outside the stores to take advantage of one-day-only sales.
But Black Friday wasn’t enough. This year, many of these stores have decided to open on Thanksgiving. This means the sales associates who most often work for minimum wage — $7.25 an hour — will have to leave their homes on a day that brings families together.
None of the associates will be able to travel outside New York to enjoy a turkey dinner with their relatives. They wouldn’t be there to open the stores for people who couldn’t wait until Friday to start their Christmas shopping.
Among stores planning to open nationwide on Thanksgiving:
• Sears will be open from 7 a.m. to noon.
• Toys R Us will be open from 8 p.m.
• Kmart will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Walmart Supercenters will be open all day Thanksgiving, and most regular Walmarts will open at midnight Thanksgiving night
• Most Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores will open around 8 a.m.
• Target will be open at 9 p.m.
• Stores that will open at midnight include Macy’s, Best Buy, Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Kohl’s.
Some employees have begun circulating petitions to protest the Thanksgiving openings, but they are easy to replace.
We understand competition drives stores to open if competitors will open. And we understand the shopping mania that drives people to get out of bed at 3 a.m. on Black Friday to be first in line.
But we don’t understand why people would let this carve up Thanksgiving. We’d like to see one retail chain find the courage to say, “We value our customers, their families and our employees so much that we wouldn’t think of opening on Thanksgiving. If you have to shop on Thanksgiving at our competitors, we understand. But we hope you’ll come back to a store that cares about your family for the rest of the year.”