Imagine the uproar from the religious right and Bill Donohue if stores were to be open through the night on Christmas Eve in order to squeeze that last nickel out of holiday shoppers.
Has anyone ever been able to demonstrate that starting Black Friday earlier and earlier makes any difference to total holiday revenues? Or does it just spread the same amount of money around over more time?
When I worked in retail when I was just out of college, we had only three holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Now stores are open on New Year's Day, so retail workers have only two paid holidays a year. This year, stores like Target, Kohl's, Wal-Mart, and others are taking Thanksgiving away from their employees by opening at midnight -- and earlier-- on Thanksgiving night.
Anthony Hardwick of Omaha, Nebraska, has set up a petition to Tell Target to Save Thanksgiving
. He says:
A midnight opening robs the hourly and in-store salary workers of time off with their families on Thanksgiving Day. By opening the doors at midnight, Target is requiring team members to be in the store by 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation -- all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night's rest on Thanksgiving!
Join me in calling for Target retail stores to push back their original opening time of 5am on Black Friday.
I'd go a step further, and advocate a mass no-show in any store that opens before 7 AM on Friday, November 25. Let them open, let them pay holiday pay for the employees they forced to sleep through Thanksgiving instead of enjoying time with their families and friends -- and then find no customers in the stores until a more appropriate hour.