Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Grinch That Stole Thanksgiving -- Boycott Black Friday

Have you had enough of Black Friday yet? We're only days away from the Big Daddy of holiday shopping days, the relentless madness of 24 hour sales and doorbuster deals. This year retailers are looking to goose sales by launching Black Friday sales at midnight Thursday,  or even on Thanksgiving evening.  

But there are plenty of people, namely employees of those national retailers (and even some shoppers) who are bristling at the idea of Black Friday sales encroaching on Thanksgiving.

Anthony Hardwick, a Target employee from Omaha who resents having to report to work on Thanksgiving, has gotten more than 191,000 like-minded people to sign an anti-Black Friday sign an anti-Black Friday petition at Change.org Please note that Target isn't the only store to open on Thanksgiving. Macy's, Sears, Walmart, Toys R Us and other big-box retailers are eagerly joining the fray.

Yes, there are tons of us, myself included, who feel lucky just to pull any kind of paycheck in this economy. But does that mean that retail workers, generally a mistreated underpaid lot, deserve to be treated shabbily and torn off their sofas on this, one of our finest holidays? Read this CBS Moneywatch story to get a little taste of what it is like to work for one of these retailers, all of whom are quick to embrace their inner Scrooge 365 days a year.

Now, we ask you, as a consumer. Do you feel compelled to forgo Friday's valuable leisure time to witness the folly of someone's grandmother getting trampled by a mob of wild-eyed shoppers? Is it really worth it to stagger from your warm, soft bed just to nab a lousy 10 percent discount on a crappy Chinese DVD player? Do you really think you are getting good deals by dashing from the pie-festooned holiday table to face the angry desperation of a Wal-Mart parking lot? Do you seriously think retailers are giving you a deal on Black Friday? Seriously?

Surely, most intelligent people understand that Black Friday is nothing more than a marketing concept, full of hype and fraud. Indeed, we are happy to report that Twitter, Facebook and citizen blogs are bursting with negative comments about retailers encroachment into the Thanksgiving holiday. Even dedicated Black Friday shoppers seem to believe the the wave of midnight and earlier openings this year has crossed a line.
 
When you do your holiday shopping, we urge you to eschew the malls and big box retailers and instead visit the shops on Old South Pearl Street and South Gaylord Street, Old Town Arvada or Boulder's 16th Street Mall. We urge you to shop the Tattered Cover, Twist and Shout, or Meininger's Art Supplies. Check out stores like Crème de la Couture in Englewood or Athena's Closet in Denver. And instead of buying more mind-erasing electronics for loved ones, consider purchasing music lessons for someone at Swallow Hill Music, or instruction at a local horseback riding stable, yoga or tai chi studio.

So, we say to you....instead of going to the malls or big national retailers, put down your wallet for the day. Pull up a sofa cushion and relish what you have around you right now, whether it is the comfort of friends and family, or the wonderful bliss of silence and solitude. My guess is that you will find that you have plenty to be thankful for, and you can discover it all without spending a dime.

1 comment:

Falkie2008 said...

I worked at Target & Walmart and for years worked at jobs where I NEVER got a holiday off because the business was open 24-7, 365 days a year.

I worked as a cashier or manager at several gas stations.

7-11's don't close on Thanksgiving, Safeway stays open part time on that day, restaurants and truck stops stay open.

The guy at Target ought to be glad he still has a job in this economy. He could have asked for the day off or even called in sick with a doctor's note.

There have been times that both I and my girlfriend have needed food, or gas or toilet paper or cat food and were glad to find ANYTHING open on Thanksgiving, or New Years.

Once we were driving and were running out of gas on the 4th of July and all the gas stations in our area were closed.

This guy needs to stop complaining and thinking about how he should be thankful while millions of his fellow Americans are OUT of work on Thanksgiving.