Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:41 AM
DonViejo (17,511 posts)
The Black Thursday Backlash
Nov 21, 2012 4:45 AM EST
Desperate to boost sales, retailers are pushing the start of the holiday shopping season to Thanksgiving Day. Thatís inspiring a backlash.
Itís hard to keep the days straight in the Christmas shopping season. First there was Black Friday. Big stores would open early the day after Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday shopping bingeóand get their books out of the red and into the black. Then the e-commerce industry brought us Cyber Monday, which required no camping out and inspired little trampling. Thereís also Small-Business Saturday, a designated day to patronize Main Street retailers. According to the National Retail Federation, 147 million Americans are planning to shop Thanksgiving weekend, which ďtraditionallyĒ starts at the stroke after midnight on Friday morning. The NRF projects sales will rise 4.1 percent this year.
And now Ö Gray Thursday?
Target is planning to open its stores at 9 p.m. on Thursday, with Walmart, Sears, and Toys íR Us opting for 8 p.m. This year Sears will offer 26 straight hours of shopping, from 8 p.m. Thursday until 10 p.m. Friday. Walmart and Toys íR Us both broke the Thursday barrier last year, opening at 9 and 10 p.m. respectively. For their part, Macyís and Best Buy are staying traditional: both retailers plan on opening at midnight Friday morning.
The further encroachment of the holiday shopping season into Thursday, a national day of rest, is inspiring angst, and labor unrest. Walmart workers at 1,000 stores have announced plans for protests on Friday. The planned actions are part of a campaign among labor organizers and Walmart workers to put pressure on the company for better wages and benefits. Last week, workers at a warehouse contracted by Walmart walked out, demanding better working conditions.
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