News — 16 November 2012
Criticisms and Backlash from Early Black Friday Sales

Camping outside a store right after a Thanksgiving meal with the family has practically become a tradition for most people. During Black Friday sales, most retail shops open their doors at 5 a.m., which means shoppers will need to reserve their spot in line the night before if they want to be one of the first to get inside once the door opens.

However, in an effort to become more competitive, some shops are now opening a few hours earlier. It actually started a few years ago when some places began opening at midnight, which didn’t seem like a bad idea because shoppers can make their trip immediately after having dinner with their families. It also meant they didn’t have to wake up super early the next morning. However, in an effort to really drive up sales, some businesses are now opening their doors in the evening on Thanksgiving Day. Black Friday has now essentially become Black Thursday.

Both shoppers and retail employees are now beginning to rebel at the idea. By opening so early in advanced, most shoppers need to get in line by afternoon or even in the morning if they want to be ahead of the pack. This means forgoing Thanksgiving with their families. The same holds true for employees who have to be on the clock when they should be at home at the dinner table.

Stores like Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Sears, for example, plan on opening their doors by 8 p.m. Some shoppers and employees have signed petitions urging these companies to “save Thanksgiving” by returning to the traditional Black Friday store hours. For Wal-Mart, at least, they have no plans of changing their opening store hour and say it was the shoppers who requested the earlier time in the first place.

For those that truly value holiday family time and are not willing to give it up, there is always Cyber Monday, which offers similar discounts from participating online stores.

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