I’m pretty sure there are lots of of us who don’t think about the people working on holidays. Those who must leave their family dinners to get to work by 3:00 or in some cases miss it altogether. Driving home last year from my sister’s house we saw long lines outside a Best Buy and it looked so “ugly” to me. I mean, is getting that 60” TV so important that you sacrifice not only your holiday but a complete stranger’s too?
Even when I had a retail store, I never made my employees work on Black Friday. Now it seems these last few years, major retailers have been racing to see who will open their doors first after Thanksgiving. Things have gotten so out of hand that last year, Walmart, Target, Best Buy and countless others actually opened ON Thanksgiving. I am old enough to remember when stores were actually closed on all holidays and being open on one as big as Thanksgiving was unheard of.
Some families make these early Black Friday sales part of their Thanksgiving tradition. They eat dinner and head out to stand in line outside these big box stores so they can rush the doors when they open. As nice as this may sound, can’t we return to sitting around the table longer or heading into the living room to catch up with each other?
Thanksgiving should be about thanking the universe for the mere ability to see our families and friends and getting the chance to speak with them, face to face without the noise of mass retailers blasting in.
The term “Black Friday” only came into broad use in the early 2000s. Massive chains put a name to the after Thanksgiving sales because traditionally it was the first day retailers got out of the red and actually started to make a profit for the year, putting them in “the black”. The term turned into a marketing campaign and retailers got all over it to jump start holiday sales. Sadly, it has turned into a race for discounts and now consumers look at it as the chance to score electronics and big ticket items at a fraction of the cost. I can understand the appeal of getting that bargain, but REALLY?
Can’t we put our greed aside for 48 hours and give the ugly American image a rest?
Do you remember when an employee at a Long Island Walmart was trampled to death on a Black Friday because greedy, ruthless shoppers rushed in to grab anything they could? Dying because you got trampled on Black Friday is as senseless as being murdered in a drive by shooting. Not only do these employees sacrifice their holiday but they risk death working it. Can’t we give the employees of these stores a break and let them enjoy a safe holiday too?
Well it seems the answer is “Yes!” REI has committed to giving their employees Black Friday off and even paying them for it. They are asking their employees to get outside and they’re not even processing orders placed on Black Friday until their employees return to work Saturday.
We all need to commend REI and support them. Show them that closing on Thanksgiving AND Black Friday is the right thing to do for their employees. MAJAMAS EARTH employees have always enjoyed Thanksgiving and Black Friday off and it’s great to see large retailers extending the same benefit to their employees.
So instead of running out to a sale this Thanksgiving or even jumping online to make a purchase, let’s honor those who are forced to work it and stay out of the stores and off our phones for a mere 48 hours.
On Saturday, send your support to those retailers who honor and support their employees.
Money is power so direct yours to the right retailers. It’s time we took this holiday back for everyone to enjoy especially the sales associates who are forced to contend with the madness.
Join ME in showing your support by celebrating our ONE WEEK “GIVING THANKS” SALE instead of shopping Black Friday and Cyber Monday!
– Germaine Caprio, MAJAMAS EARTH Company Owner & Designer