Don’t kid yourself: if you thought the stores opening on Thanksgiving last year was horrible brace yourselves for even worse.
Even though there was a huge outcry against malls and stores opening on Thanksgiving Day last year and even though there were enough online petitions to give retailers serious pause it is NOT going to change. The encroachment on Thanksgiving by Christmas sales is complete and will only get worse. Welcome to Christmas of the 21st century.
Once again there is a brewing backlash. Staples, Game Stop and TJX Stores — that would be TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods — have all announced they will NOT be participating in Thanksgiving sales (And so what? Of that group only Staples was open on Thanksgiving last year).
A month from now all of that will be lost in the hype of door buster deals and competition for the earliest opening hours.
The contest belongs to Walmart, Target, JCPenneys and Dollar General. But they are all really chasing Amazon and, like last year and several years before, Amazon is going to win — hands down.
But enough noise will be generated to draw 4 out of 10 out to the stores on Thanksgiving— and that’s enough for retailers to say it is worth it.
What does that mean? That means your protests on social media are worthless. That means the online petitions you send to retailers are not worth the cyber-paper they are printed on. Money talks and apparently there’s gold in being open on Thanksgiving.
The circumstances of this holiday season really give retailers no other choice. Already analysts are hedging their bets on just how successful a selling season it will be. Macy’s, Walmart, Target and others have all published their anticipated hiring needs for the season and guess what? It’s 20% lower than a it was year ago. Walmart’s recent performance woes have chilled an already shaky forecast for Christmas sales. Inflation, unemployment and record-breaking numbers of people on government assistance all paint a very scary picture for retailers.
And that means they will pull out all the stops to sell this Christmas — which means Thanksgiving opening for most of the isn’t even an option any more. They have to do it.
And with a quarter of all shoppers completing their Christmas shopping during the week of Black Friday you can bet the pressure will be on the rest of us to buy, buy, buy before December 25th.