Pro-Holiday Activists Protest At Mall That Will Open On Thanksgiving Day

There’s less than two weeks left until Thanksgiving Day, and consumers are beginning to learn which retailers will be open on the holiday so they can either plan their shopping trips or get very, very upset. Some people in Michigan have taken the “get upset” option, holding a protest outside of a mall that is scheduled to open at 6 P.M.

Last year, the Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor, Michigan opened at 8 P.M., its first attempt at opening on the holiday. That was apparently a success, and the mall has moved the opening time back two hours to match anchor store Macy’s. The mall announced its plans two weeks ago, and activists decided to protest yesterday.

It makes sense to protest ahead of time instead of on Thanksgiving Day: the protest tells shoppers to stay away on Thanksgiving Day and to consider avoiding those retailers and malls altogether this holiday season. (Not that boycotts are necessarily effective in cases like this, but doing so will publicize the problem and make boycotters feel better.)

The Briarwood Mall is owned by Simon, the same company that drew controversy for being the first nationwide mall management company to open all of its shopping centers on Thanksgiving Day last year. A spokesperson for Simon explained that the company wants to offer its customers the choice of shopping on Thanksgiving Day if that’s what they want to do. “We appreciate that people may have a different view of that,” he told the Ann Arbor News. “People have different traditions and we respect that, but this is there for those who want to take advantage of the extra hours the mall is open, we’ll be there for them.”

The protesters, as you might imagine, don’t agree. “You couldn’t pervert the holiday any more than to [make] it a shopping holiday,” one protester told the News.

Group rallies against Thanksgiving Day shopping at Ann Arbor mall [MLive]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.