America’s much-loved and equally-maligned Black Friday Sales may be forced to consider a name change over the coming years, as more and more are actually kicking off on Thanksgiving. While last year saw larger numbers of large chain retailers than ever before kick off their Black Friday Sales at the traditional stroke of midnight, dozens will this year open their doors much earlier on Thanksgiving night itself.
Among the stores bringing black Friday forward to Thanksgiving evening are Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us, Sears and Target – all of whom are planning to make millions before most have even finished their suppers if turkey leftovers.
Needless to say, the backlash has been substantial and swift to say the least, as tens of thousands of critics express their concerns over Black Friday Sales gradually eating away at what makes Thanksgiving special. Rather than focusing on family, relaxation, togetherness and piling on a few pounds, millions will instead be entirely consumed with filling their shopping bags at the Black Friday Sales and abandoning an important national tradition.
So far, upwards of 165,000 people have added their names to a petition started by an employee of Target – all of whom are begging the chain to reconsider its earlier Black Friday opening time. In addition to the sales swallowing up the time of millions of consumers on the lookout for a bargain, such early opening hours will also demand vast swathes of employees give up their Thanksgiving afternoons to prepare for the early Black Friday carnage.
Sadly, the response of the industry has so far been unanimously in favor of the early start to Black Friday, having stated that the public is generally behind the idea and the masses will vote with their wallets this year. They have also argued that to start the Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving evening is a blessing for shoppers, as it gives them the chance to shop at a more sensible hour and not have to attend midnight or 4am queues to stand a chance at bagging a bargain.