by Melissa Brunner
My mom worked at a retail store for more than 35 years. She retired a few years back when her store location closed. Given the current holiday season shopping trends, she couldn't be happier.
Mom saw Black Friday at her store move from the 8 or 9 am start, to the 6 am start, to the 5 am start and I think it had made it to 4 am by the time she was done. Her reaction these past couple years when about everyone was jumping on the bandwagon with midnight openings? "How stupid!"
I can only imagine what she'll say when I ask her thoughts on the growing number of stores who, this year, will start Black Friday on Thursday evening! Best Buy is the latest to announce its opening time: 6 PM THANKSGIVING DAY!
Best Buy isn't alone in rushing your Thanksgiving plans. Sears, Macy's, JCPenney and Kohl's all are opening at 8pm Thursday. Toys R Us and Target will open at 9 pm. WalMart, with so many 24 hour locations, has been starting 8pm Thursday specials for years, much like KMart has had 6am Thanksgiving Day specials.
Companies worry if they don't join the trend, shoppers will spend all their dollars at the stores opening earlier, so they need to have their doors open, too, in order to cash in. Shoppers feel like they'll miss out on the deals if they don't join the early sales.
"What do the workers have to complain about?" I've heard people say, "They're getting paid!" Perhaps, but most workers are part-timers who aren't getting extra holiday pay. And some things are about more than money.
My mom loved her job, but she didn't love how this early rush encroached on the workers' time with their families. Sure, you had time to eat your holiday dinner, but, when you have to be up so early or working through the night, dealing with a huge rush of customers, you don't exactly spend much time enjoying yourself because you're worried about getting to bed early or at least catching a nap so you're up to the task at hand.
What do you think? Are the early openings going too far or are you okay with it?
No matter which side you're on, remember when you're out shopping this holiday season that the workers are real people and their patience is being tested, too, and they're doing the best they can. A smile and a thank you would be a gift they'd appreciate!