Retailers push back against Black Friday



Mia Hernandez, Reporter

A fall chill is in the air, your crazy relatives have been at your house for the past three days, and you just finished stuffing yourself with delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, but all you can think about is that deal you’re about to get on Free People clothes and all the makeup and skincare Sephora has to offer.

If this is you every Thanksgiving day, you’re not alone. Many Americans patiently (and some not so patiently) await Black Friday every year and look forward to all the savings they expect to receive on future Christmas gifts or general purchases.

In recent years, retailers’ desire to get a jump on holiday sales has pushed Black Friday from its traditional early-morning Friday opening to midnight Friday, then 9pm Thursday, and then some retailers decided to not even close on Thanksgiving at all.

This year, however, some retailers and malls are beginning to reconsider the effects of Black Friday on their businesses and their employees. Both Nordstrom and Mall of America have decided to close their doors on Thanksgiving day.

“We’re pleased to give this day back to our 15,000 employees and their families,” said the statement from Mall of America.

At least that’s what they say.

According to Forbes magazine, the rise of online shopping posed a threat to Black Friday shopping, so in response they began to open on Thanksgiving day, offering the same discounted prices that they did Black Friday.

But it turns out that e-commerce hasn’t had such detrimental effect as suspected because people who shopped online simply bought from retailers who also had physical store fronts. The addition of Thanksgiving day to the holiday shopping schedule has actually depleted the sales on Black Friday and knocked it out of the top spot for highest sales day of the year.

We have enough anecdotal and empirical evidence to suggest that Thanksgiving Day openings have diluted Black Friday sales, so making the decision to close a shopping center to give employees time with family versus focusing solely on profit margins is a smart move,” says Greg Maloney of Forbes Magazine.

The costs of remaining open an extra day may also be a cause of pre-Friday closures as the expense of remaining open and paying employees for that day may not offset the expected sales.

 Whatever the reason that retailers are pushing back on the ever-advancing creep of commercialism into the holiday season, it is all a step in a more positive direction. Crazy Black Friday and Thanksgiving sales and the hours to go with them have begun to detract from the grateful and appreciative atmosphere that should be present every fourth Thursday in November.  

So instead of rushing to the mall to grab that Too Faced eyeshadow palette on sale, try to take a moment and take stock of the all good people and things in your life and let them know that they are appreciated.