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Thanksgiving: To Shop or Not to Shop?

November 21, 2017

The debate continues – to shop on Thanksgiving Day or not to shop on Thanksgiving Day?

Many stores, including Sam’s Club, BJ’s, Costco, Cabela’s, Home Depot, Publix, PetSmart, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom, and others (the list currently holds 56 stores) are refusing to open their doors on November 23 – Thanksgiving Day. Their Black Friday deals will start at the crack of dawn on Friday, but they’re keeping Thanksgiving a “family-focused holiday.”boycott_thanksgiving.jpg

Other retailers, including Sears, Target, and Best Buy, will open for a few hours on Thanksgiving Day and then close before kicking off a second round of specials on Black Friday. Those retailers, along with Macy’s, seem to have a history of competing to see who can open earlier on Thanksgiving each year.

But the biggest Thanksgiving Grinches are Kmart, opening at 6:00 am on Thanksgiving Day and staying open for 42 hours, and J.C. Penney, opening at 2:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day.

Thousands of consumers will shop on Thanksgiving Day, and the retailers that don’t open are risking the loss of hundreds of sales and thousands of dollars. Why?

Because 60% of Americans profess that they ‘hate’ or ‘dislike’ the fact that stores are open on Thanksgiving Day. (Unfortunately, many can’t resist the sales, including this writer, who didn’t want to shop on Thanksgiving Day last year but couldn’t make herself pass up the iPad sale at Target.)

And, according to this article, they make their decision to keep their doors closed on Thanksgiving Day very public not so people will know not to shop there, but because

To play up to the legions of Americans who want to keep Thanksgiving as sacred and shopping-free as possible, it makes sense for retailers ... to promote the fact that they’re staying closed on the holiday … to stealthily shame [competitor stores] without overtly blaming them for “ruining Thanksgiving.”

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A TJ Maxx spokesperson says, “We consider ourselves an associate-friendly company, and we are pleased to give our associates time to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.”

It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see that TJ Maxx is calling retailers that force employees to work on Thanksgiving unfriendly so that maybe, next year, other companies will feel guilty about opening on Thanksgiving Day.

Are guilt trips a new marketing tool, or are we just giving something old a new name? Do they (or will they) work? Tell us what you think – and how you feel about shopping on Thanksgiving Day!

Courtney Stallings
Written by Courtney Stallings

Courtney writes and edits content for Leading Results and their clients. She has been described as a Grammar Nazi and enjoys crafting writing with excellent spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

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