'Don't Go Shopping on Thanksgiving' Pleas Heard as Retailers Open Early

Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013 10:02 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Don't go shopping on Thanksgiving. That's what many around the country are pleading with buyers as retailers move Black Friday shopping earlier and earlier, with some choosing to open on Thursday — Thanksgiving Day — this year.

According to a recently released poll, most people have no plans other than turkey, family, and maybe football. The study conducted by the University of Connecticut found 90 percent of those polled said they had no intention of spending their Thanksgiving Day searching for deals in retail stores.

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The Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit that studies how the workplace affects the family and community at large, agreed.

"It is our opinion that retailers who choose to open on Thanksgiving Day show no respect to their employees and families, and are in total disrespect of family values in the United States of America," Families and Work Institute Co-founder and President Ellen Galinsky wrote in an article published on Time.com.

According to Galinsky, holidays such as Thanksgiving are "critical to keeping employees healthy and productive, moreso than ever."

"Our research at the Families and Work Institute shows that the nation’s workforce is more stressed than ever, increasing significantly in recent years," Galinsky wrote. "Nearly one-third (32%) of employees report that their work has a primarily negative impact on their lives off the job by draining energy, so they don’t have enough left over for their personal and family life.

"Our research also shows that those who take vacations and holidays return to work more energized and productive," Galinsky added, said Time.

Despite the UConn poll and Families and Work Institute research, many major retailers will be opening early Thanksgiving Day.

Macy's, JC Penney, Best Buy, Sears, Target, Bass Pro Shop, and Kohl's will be open throughout Thanksgiving Day, according to U.S. News and World Report.

As a result, rather than spending the day with family and loved ones, many retail workers will likely have to spend their Holiday dealing with sale-hungry shoppers.

Macy’s defended its decision to open on Thanksgiving Day through a recently released statement that said the decision was, in part, "in response to interest from customers who prefer to start their shopping early."

Some stores however, as an apparent courtesy to their workers, will open their doors in the late afternoon-early evening on Thursday, such as the arts and crafts store Michael's, which will open at 5 p.m.

Of course, Thanksgiving Day holiday store hours are a precursor to the much anticipated Black Friday.

Stores like Toys 'R Us, which will be opening some locations at 10 p.m. Thursday, and Wal-Mart, which will be open all day Thursday, will remains open throughout Thursday night into Friday to capitalize on the shopping frenzy they anticipate this year.

And for their apparent sacrifice to consumerism on Thanksgiving Day, the workers who man the cash registers and organize the clothing displays at such retail giants will likely receive time-and-a-half pay to compensate.

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