You Won’t Be Enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner Because Retailers Can’t Wait For Black Friday

It’s time to face facts: Retailers are jumping on the Let’s Start Offering Big Sales On Thanksgiving Day bandwagon left and right, so you probably won’t be enjoying your dinner very much this year. Target, Toys ‘R’ Us and Kohl’s have all announced they’ll be open earlier than ever on Thanksgiving this year, and Walmart probably will too.

Kohl’s will be open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and will pay for the purchases of four customers selected at random at each of its stores starting that night, as well as four online shoppers. It did something similar last year but spread it out over a month, notes the Washington Post.

Target will also throw open its doors at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, an hour earlier than last year (which means less time for digestion, sigh).

Toys ‘R’ Us is going big with a three-hour shift from last year, to 5 p.m. from 8.

And although Walmart might’ve made some customers think it would ease up on Thanksgiving/Black Friday with some early discounts, it’s also set to announce today that it’ll start in-store specials at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. There will also be online discounts starting that morning, in case you thought you could focus on your family/watching football. It’ll also have 21 guaranteed items to customers standing in line during the first hour of Thanksgiving discounts, a big jump over last year’s three.

“Black Friday is the Super Bowl of retail, and it’s very important to us,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Wal-Mart U.S. “We anticipate a very competitive environment.”

Uh yeah, ya think? And when retailers compete, consumers get some good deals — but perhaps at the cost of a relaxing day filled with tryptophan naps.

On the up side — if retailers keep pushing back into Thanksgiving, maybe they’ll find themselves arriving at Wednesday as the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season. Then only your meal prep will be ruined instead of the entire day.

If it keeps going then we’ll just be like Canada and have Thanksgiving in October. Two months of Christmas, anyone?

Kohl’s, Target, Toys R Us add to early holiday shopping frenzy [Washington Post]

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  1. maximusmmivx says:

    I’ll be enjoying my Thanksgiving dinner just fine. Shopping is the absolute last thing that should be done on a day intended to help you stop, take a breath, and remember what you’re thankful for. I don’t care what deals they have. I won’t be there.

    • ShadyTrust says:

      That’s exactly what I logged in to say. I couldn’t possibly care any less about black Friday and think it’s ridiculous that it’s impeding on a holiday intended to remind you to be thankful. The time I have to spend eating with family is worth more than the money I’d save on any door-buster deal.

  2. Ravensclawth says:

    It means no such thing. We’ll be at home, visiting with our family who’s coming down for dinner, throwing logs on the woodstove, and probably belching too much.

    I don’t feel obligated to go shopping simply because a store chooses to open early. I’d feel sorry for those that do, but perhaps that is what makes them happy, and that’s a good thing.

  3. oomingmak says:

    I feel very sorry for every retail employee who is feeling pressured (or forced) to work during these extended Thanksgiving Day hours. The only way this practice will change is if consumers ignore the extended times or employees refuse to work.

    I plan to do my part by not only sitting out this Black Friday but to avoid all offending stores for the duration of my holiday shopping this year. There are *a lot* of other places to shop.

  4. oomingmak says:

    I should add that if they INSIST on being open Thanksgiving they should do what the video store I worked at in the late 90s did.

    This store prided itself with being open every day of the year except Christmas Day. For all other big holidays it was voluntary only and a sign-up sheet would go up about 3 weeks before the holiday. If the owner didn’t have enough workers in the first week he would offer double-time for the shift. After another week it would be upped to triple-time for all workers. After that, if there still wasn’t enough workers, the owner worked the shift himself.

    I used to love working at double-pay on Super Bowl Sunday and having the store to myself.

    • SingleMaltGeek says:

      That is pretty awesome. I’d go out of my way to patronize a place like that, and even if I didn’t know I’ll bet the employees were a lot more interesting and fun to chat with, which can have a huge impact on customer loyalty.

      I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it a law, as I suggested in a comment on an earlier post, that retail employees couldn’t be required to work national holidays, then employers might be forced to offer incentives if not enough people needed the hours.

  5. citking1 says:

    I really hope this experiment in consumerism fails miserably. I have enough friends who hate Christmas just for this reason and the holiday spirit is completely lost on us. Retailers feel the need to squeeze every dollar from shoppers as soon as humanly possible and it’s sad.

    St Patrick’s Day is coming up. Better get the shamrocks and green beer ready.

  6. illusio26 says:

    Blame the stores all you want, but they wouldn’t be doing this if people weren’t coming out in droves for it.

  7. coloradoconsumer says:

    I for one won’t be spoiling my Thanksgiving, it just isn’t that important to get that deal. I already have most of our gifts already purchased actually.

    But this will continue as long as people are insane enough to head out and participate in this madness.

  8. ZLoth says:

    So, let me get this straight…. the big US holidays are mainly around the following:
    * Memorial Day – Beginning of Summer BBQ blowout
    * Independence Day – Get drunk and blow stuff up
    * Labor Day – End of Summer blowout
    * Thanksgiving – Watch lots of football, get stuffed, shop until you drop
    * Christmas – Receive stuff that will probably be on the ignored pile in three months, feed the “entitlement” need.

    I could have sworn those holidays were originally enacted for much different reasons. Silly me. I’ll just sit at home and enjoy the videos of brotherly shove and the animals who pass themselves off as humans.

  9. evogel says:

    I sure will enjoy Thanksgiving. I refuse to go do any shopping on that day.