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Thanksgiving Shopping is the 21st Century Christmas

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.

Father of 7, Grandfather of 7, husband of 1. Freelance writer, Major League baseball geek, aspiring Family Historian.
I'm sort of hopeless in this. During the year I keep my eyes open and buy then. I'm a Black Friday retailer's nightmare, i.e. I won't get near it ! Internet shopping, however. . .but that is also earlier in the year.

I also believe in gift cards, Visa, MasterCard and American Express. In House cards are nice but they confine the recipient to the store, itself. And that $25.00 gift card sometimes has a lot more purchase power at the supermarket than it does at the high class emporium. And gift cards go over well with teenagers, too.

And now I'll shut up.
I have always been against stores being open on the holidays. Regardless of which one we are talking about. When you really think about it, holidays were always meant to be family days. Oh sure, we recognize various events for their impact on our lives (Christmas & Easter) or the many that have been a part of the American way of life (which pretty much includes all the rest). But, they were days you knew you would be off. It did not matter if you worked construction, retail, banking or any other business, you could plan in January what the family was going to do on Labor Day. Why? Because you knew you would be off. The biggest slap in the face to all of this is that businesses no longer care about the family. Even though they will lie and say they do. Why do I make such a statement? Call any of the headquarters or any of those that are open on Thanksgiving for instance and see if anyone answers. I have done this and the answer is no one, just a recording.
In the military where I served for nearly 24 years, you lead by example. If Wal-Mart honestly feels we need to be open to serve our customers, then the headquarters should be open as well for the same kind of service. Yes, I do understand there are some jobs that simply cannot close up. My military years were always involving a 24/7 job. But most, on the bases, were off on those same holidays.
It is greed and not service that motivates them. Always has been, always will be. Those who did grow up back when everything was shut down (at night too), will bear witness that somehow, we always got by. Just another sign that although this country is filled with a lot of great citizens, the number of actual Americans is dwindling.

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