Finally, retailers are getting a message I’ve long hoped they would. There is no need to be open on Thanksgiving Day.
Chief among the retailers staying closed on Nov. 27 is Costco,which employs 186,000 people and is the second largest retailer in the United States. Other well known retailers that are closed are Barnes & Noble, DSW,Marshalls,Nordstrom,and Petco,just to name a few. Even grocers such as Publix, a supermarket-chain that has locations in seven southern states and is famous for having reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston stealing crab legs from one of their stores.
Costco’s decision came merely as a thank you to its employees for their hard work.
“Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families,” said one company spokesperson, “Nothing more complicated than that.”
In contrast, many retailers such as Target,Kohl’s,Sears,and JC Penney will open their doors on Thanksgiving. In 2013, K-Mart stayed open 41 hours straight
beginning at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.
“Wal-Mart associates are really excited to work that day,it’s a pretty high energy day for associates as well,” said Wal-Mart Executive Vice President Duncan Mac Naughton
If you know me well enough, you know that I am wholeheartedly against retailers being open on holidays that they don’t need to necessarily be open. I was in retail for seven and a half years before leaving for good (I will never go back to retail) in Dec. of 2012 for my current position. I worked in the grocery business for almost all of my time in retail and did work Thanksgiving once, in 2006. I’m sure my former colleagues who I worked with in the business are not going to like what I have to say next,but it’s the God awful truth: I weaseled out of working Thanksgiving on purpose.
How did I do it? Well, some of those years I was in college where I had classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and was unavailable to come to work on those days. Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday, therefore I had that day off automatically. Other years I had someone cover for me or I twisted arms to get that day off. Man,was I good at getting what I wanted and Man,am I glad to not have to worry about shit like that anymore. And no,I’m not sorry that I did it.
Why did I do it? Because I didn’t feel that I had any reason to work the holiday. While I am a single person with no children or no family or my own, I still have loved ones who I want to spend the holiday with that I don’t get to see as often as I’d like to. Also,Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I’m not working that day. And,again,I’m not sorry that I did it.
People who hear my response to that often ask me “Well,didn’t you get triple time that day?”,and my response was “Only if you’ve been in that industry for three decades under an old contract that a new hire will never get to work under”. People like myself who were hired after 2006 were only given time and a half and honestly even that wasn’t worth it for me to work that day for.
I am glad that so many retailers have said “Thanks,but no thanks!” to being open on Thanksgiving and are giving thanks to their employees by being closed that day. Here’s hoping that being open that day will mark the end of the trend.