Poll

How do you feel about this?

Great; the shopping season is too short this year
10 (2.8%)
Indifferent; I don't need to shop
30 (8.4%)
Indifferent; I really don't care
87 (24.4%)
Outrageous!  Some holidays should be sacred
210 (58.8%)
Undecided
1 (0.3%)
Other
19 (5.3%)

Total Members Voted: 357

Author Topic: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day  (Read 17038 times)

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jmarvellous

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2013, 12:20:43 PM »
I worked Thanksgiving, New Year's, and Christmas pretty much every year of the 7 or so I worked at a newspaper. It was no fun, except insofar as my co-workers and I did our best to cheer one another along. I have a LOT of sympathy for everyone who has to work.

Susiqzer

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2013, 12:24:57 PM »
I wouldn't care, except that some people are basically compelled to work. If all the workers were thrilled to get extra hours that would be one thing, but my understanding is that the deal is "don't show up on the holiday, don't bother showing up for your next shift or any one after that either".

There are very few days that everyone* has off, and getting families together really depends on this.

*except health and safety officers, but I do not consider  the importance/need of retail workers to rise to this "always on" level!

POD

Exactly this. My mother was a nurse (now retired), so my family was used to moving holidays around so we could celebrate together. From a young age, I understood that they can't discharge all of the patients and take a day off. She was also well compensated for it. 

But requiring retail workers to give up the holiday with their families for minimum wage? No. Just, no.

I'm very glad that my state still prevents stores from opening on Thanksgiving! It'll be a madhouse at 12:01 on Friday, but people have the holiday off!

(Also, could you imagine preparing a huge Thanksgiving dinner, only to have your guests rush off to shop right after? I'd be devastated!)

TootsNYC

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2013, 01:10:47 PM »
  About five years ago Brunhilde's sister commented "In a few years we'll be finishing our pumpkin pie and heading to the mall."  Which is now happening.


But it's only happening because customers are willing to do it.


It strikes me as kinda ridiculous to complain about going to the mall on Thanksgiving, because--hey--you could stay home!

Like Arila, it bothers me because people are compelled to work--and that makes it something that should be eliminated.

In addition to the idea that having a universal holiday makes life easier to families, I also always liked the sense of community, town-wide, that came from us NOT all being out and about. I used to deliver the afternoon paper, so I'd bike all through town dropping it off, and I loved that feelings of "all of us together" that came from the fact that all of us were -at home-. Nothing was open, nothing. (the grocery store manager would go open up for about 2 hours on Thanksgiving morning, and then even that was closed). Once we got a convenience store, the mood was ruined at that end of town.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2013, 01:19:02 PM »
I don't care one way or the other. I can only hope that the people who *do* work that day get some kind of decent compensation for it.

My life is in computers.  I've been in the field for over 30 years, and I spent 16 years as a computer operator in 24/7 shops, so I've worked the holidays.  To be truthful, I *volunteered* for holiday work because it paid really well (usually double time and a half!), and it gave me an excuse to not go home and deal with the family fights.   Then there was the year when my co-worker was of the religion that didn't celebrate holidays, and we used to fight over who got to work.  LOL 

shhh its me

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2013, 01:27:03 PM »
I wouldn't care, except that some people are basically compelled to work. If all the workers were thrilled to get extra hours that would be one thing, but my understanding is that the deal is "don't show up on the holiday, don't bother showing up for your next shift or any one after that either".

There are very few days that everyone* has off, and getting families together really depends on this.

*except health and safety officers, but I do not consider  the importance/need of retail workers to rise to this "always on" level!

POD

Exactly this. My mother was a nurse (now retired), so my family was used to moving holidays around so we could celebrate together. From a young age, I understood that they can't discharge all of the patients and take a day off. She was also well compensated for it. 

But requiring retail workers to give up the holiday with their families for minimum wage? No. Just, no.

I'm very glad that my state still prevents stores from opening on Thanksgiving! It'll be a madhouse at 12:01 on Friday, but people have the holiday off!

(Also, could you imagine preparing a huge Thanksgiving dinner, only to have your guests rush off to shop right after? I'd be devastated!)

In my experience they are not compensated for it, also retail workers are the only low paid workers I know of the get extended hours for 6 weeks with little if any overtime pay.  The big stores hire extra part time workers , the small stores do things such as have people work for 8 am to 5 rather then  9 -6  and 2 -11 pm rather then 12 -9, take long unpaid lunches , send people home after working 2 hours , increases salaried people hours by 40 hours a week.  So being open those extra 21-28 hours a week doesn't cost the companies as much as you think it would TBH it doesn't cost them as much as it should. 

IF they had working hours that would be considered fair normally ie premium for staring a shift less then 8 hours after getting off work, no forced non paid lunches of more then a hour, premium for working past 10 pm or before 8 am , full time employees with  no less then 8 hours shifts, part time workers with 4-6 hours shifts , getting  paid time and a half for their 6th day and double time for their 7th day in a week.

Arila

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #35 on: November 21, 2013, 01:32:09 PM »
Toots, your description gave me a nice little day dream of the whole world stopped, resting, smelling the roses and enjoying each other and home. Wow I was so relaxed for at least 5 seconds! :)

Winterlight

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #36 on: November 21, 2013, 01:39:47 PM »
My thought is that a lot of people who aren't in retail work on Thanksgiving Day, too.  I'm really of two minds because on one side, any situation like this can get exploitive, but on the other I know a lot of people who would be happy to work on Thanksgiving Day for the extra pay.  So like many things, I don't see it as universally bad just because it's bad for some people.

Virg

POD.  I spent 3 years working for a bank that had a truly 24/7 phone line manned by real people.   Each year, I volunteered to work graveyard shifts on the major holidays.  So I got paid my holiday pay.  I got paid double time for working the holiday.  And I got a shift differential.  And they always asked because noone from the 24-hour banking department really wanted to work-so they usually left me (and whooever else volunteered) food and cookies in thanks for making it possible for them to not work.  I loved my paychecks those weeks. 

I would hazard a guess that the people being told (probably not asked) to work are not being well compensated and are not thrilled about it.  On the other hand, there are an awful lot of people who do have to work on the holiday, so I don't see this as the worst thing ever.  I will never patronize a retail establishment on the Feast of St. Turkey, but the only way to make sure that it doesn't happen again is for people to make it a money-losing proposition.  If noone shops, they won't do it again.

Agreed. My brother worked holidays at a radio station for a decade- he had the 5am to noon shift. He got extra pay and liked the solitude. One of my friends is looking forward to her Tday shift as a barista. I don't think this is a universal complaint by any means.

It's funny. I have been seeing a lot of anger on relative's Facebook pages about this, but we have a tradition in our family of going to the movies on T-day and Christmas. There was never any rage about those poor theater employees that have to work. Why are retail workers so different?

Good point.
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Goosey

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2013, 01:40:51 PM »
Lots of people have to work on thanksgiving day and christmas day (not just safety and health care workers), so I really don't understand the outrage.

In addition, there are many, many people who want to work the holidays because of the extra pay involved.

Finally, the "it's a day for FAMILIES thing" <--- this assumes (1) all people working on thanksgiving have families (2) all people working on thanksgiving have families they want to celebrate (3) all people working on thanksgiving celebrate thanksgiving.

TeamBhakta

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2013, 02:05:00 PM »
Our store will be open on Thanksgiving. And boy has there been some griping about it when the grocery managers aren't nearby. My boss and her bosses wanted us demonstrators to hand out samples on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but thankfully they've given up on that idea. The extra incentives we were offered for Black Friday + Thanksgiving were puny, an absolute joke :P

I worked Black Friday eve last year. It was horrible. I had to park in another shopping center across a busy road and cross it at night; all the parking spaces at our store were full. I had to use a shopping cart as a shield, because people would not let me pass otherwise. I had a very bad headache for several hours afterwards from too much noise and feeling overstimulated. I actually barricaded myself in a safe spot last year, blocked off with the shopping cart, because someone had the brilliant idea of "You should stroll around handing out coupons to Black Friday shoppers."  ::)

My co-worker's husband told her "I do not want you to go this year unless you take a gun. The crowds get too out of control. TeamBhakta should not go to work that day either unless she takes someone to watch her back." She has enough common sense to not actually carry a gun to work, no worries, (and told her husband that's going too far) but she balked at Thanksgiving / Black Friday work this year, too.

Amara

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #39 on: November 21, 2013, 02:29:54 PM »
I voted "outrageous," and the reason why is that opening retail stores on Thanksgiving and Christmas (and even opening in the early morning hours the next day) removes the "special" from those days. It's only two days a year! Can't we respect that? Can't we respect something? Is there nothing at all that retail won't tear down in its desperate grasp for the dollar bill?

I am aware that so many others work those days, some essential personnel, others less so. But many of those are much better paid, especially on holidays, than retail workers who do not, or rarely do, get any additional pay. Even when the stores began opening at 6:00 am the day after the two holidays seemed wrong. (Shows you how long it's been since I was there.) Because while the stores may open at 6:00 or 3:00 am or even midnight the employees usually have to be there one to two hours ahead of time, the managers probably earlier.

Arguments about essential personnel seem to me to be outside the discussion. Retail is so different, and I for one, were I ever put in charge, would deny restaurants, grocery stores, retail, gasoline stations, and more from opening on those two days. Alas, I doubt I ever will be.  ;)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #40 on: November 21, 2013, 02:49:17 PM »
I have an idea that would work in a small town but wouldn't work in the city:

Let the managers of various retail establishments confer and set up a rotation for who will be open.  If the place that is going to be open doesn't have enough volunteers to work, then volunteers can be drawn from other establishments (I know, payroll for this would be a nightmare).

So Fred's grocery is open for Thanksgiving and Frank's grocery is open for Christmas.  Betty and Veronica's groceries would be open next year.  Same for the gas stations.  Advertise in the local paper which establishments are open and put a sign on the door of each of the closed places with the name and address of the place that would be open.

I do think restaurants are a different category.  While not completely essential, there are people who wouldn't get a meal if they couldn't go to a restaurant.  What about the little family run Vietnamese place on the corner where the owners and most of the staff aren't Christians and don't celebrate Christmas?  Gives a great alternative option for people to get a meal on a day when other establishments aren't open.

I'm in a fairly small city - about 130,000.  We have at least 4 stores of one particular grocery chain.  They could close all but one of them and have volunteers from all 4 stores be the ones to work that day at a particular store, again, well advertised which store will be open.

But straight up consumerism retail where no one's holiday will be ruined if they can't buy that one thing?  Doesn't need to be open, IMO.
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MyFamily

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #41 on: November 21, 2013, 03:04:23 PM »
I don't object to stores being open on Thanksgiving - some places need to be staffed (even restaurants or stores).  It is that they are opening to encourage not just more spending, but more frenzied spending.  I think Black Friday has gotten completely and totally out-of-hand and to now extend that to one more day on Thanksgiving?  Insane!!  And for what - a plasma tv?  A new dvd player?  And it is a frenzied experience.

I've been shopping two times on Black Friday.  A few years ago (maybe more than a few at this point), we saw that the perfect gift was on sale at a big box store that we like - so went to buy it and then put it right back when we realized that the lines to check-out literally went from the front to the back of the store.  A week or so later, I went back and bought the perfect gift and it was the same price as the Black Friday price.  Last year, my husband and I were running errands, without kids - we drove by another big box store that had just opened at that location and saw the parking lot was empty.  We needed a few things, so we went in and bought what we needed, plus some gifts for the kids that were a really good price. 

This is the Black Friday secret - with the exception of things like electronics, the other items are going to stay on sale past Black Friday, because the stores want the money of the people who won't go shopping on Black Friday.  So, I don't think they are going to get more shoppers because they are open on Thanksgiving AND Black Friday - I think they'll get the same number of shoppers spread out over two days. And honestly, that just isn't right for the minimum wage workers who want to be home enjoying a Thanksgiving dinner, or a Dr. Who Marathon while eating Chinese food all by themselves...that is why I totally object to this practice.


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Venus193

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #42 on: November 21, 2013, 03:16:25 PM »
I have to wonder how many customers really want this vs retailers just looking to have more frenzied shoppers.  Since stores have Christmas merchandise in for almost a month before Black Friday, why not initiate the season earlier?  That sounds like it would be healthier for their bottom line while being less stressful for the customers.

Lynn2000

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #43 on: November 21, 2013, 03:52:46 PM »
It doesn't bother me to have stores etc. open on Thanksgiving and other holidays. I view it as an economic decision, not a moral one. If it turns out to not be cost effective, retailers will stop doing it. But as long as they can make money on it, they will keep offering customers what they clearly want. Of course I'm not okay with retailers treating their workers poorly, but I have no idea of the pay structure of each individual store, and I'm not going to assume they must be horrible people forcing people to work Thanksgiving. If there was an expose of a particular store, okay, I wouldn't patronize them any longer, but that's not something specifically related to holiday work.

Every year my extended family goes to a restaurant to eat. I love it. I am so glad certain restaurants are open and allow us to get the Thanksgiving group meal experience without anyone have to stress over cooking. Plus... yeah, my family just can't cook. :) We are not known for our culinary talents, so I don't miss the "home-cooked" experience. We are certainly always polite and well-behaved to the staff we encounter and leave a large tip.

If people are looking forward to big family gatherings and loving togetherness, I think that is great and they should do whatever works best for them. But not everyone is in that situation. I work at a university campus with a large number of foreign-born students. The vast majority of them do not have family in the area and don't even celebrate Thanksgiving. They're like, "Well, it's Thursday, what should we do today?" I'm sure they're also very glad restaurants, shops, movie theaters, etc. are open. Although as I said, I see it as an economic decision, not something retailers do because they're evil, or conversely, out of the goodness of their hearts for people who have nothing else to do that day.

To those who complain about relatives dashing away early from dinner to go shopping--I think the problem is not that shopping is available, it's that the relatives are rude. I certainly have relatives who manage to ignore everyone else in the house at family holiday gatherings, for example by going into the den or upstairs to watch TV, without having anything to do with going out shopping. Just my thoughts on the matter. :)
~Lynn2000

camlan

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Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #44 on: November 21, 2013, 03:53:42 PM »
I voted Outrageous not because I think Thanksgiving should be sacred, but because I think people deserve the holiday.

But then, I think football players and coaches and support staff and sportscasters should be home on Thanksgiving, as well.

Yes, there are many people who have to work on the holidays--medical personnel, the military, fire and police, hotel employees, for example. But they are usually compensated in some way--extra money, time off at some later date, something.

But part-time retail workers are told to come in Thursday evening or lose their jobs. They work ridiculous hours in the middle of the night. And they get nothing but their regular hourly pay in return. Except, of course, that they get to keep their jobs.

I read one report that last year, when a few stores experimented with opening Thanksgiving afternoon, they actually made less money overall, than when they just opened early on Friday.
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