Kudos & Kvetch: Early sale worth it?
By JEAN L. KAESS
I’ve managed to keep my Grinch-like qualities in check through Thanksgiving.
I haven’t mentioned the Christmas decorations that grace stores as soon as the Halloween pumpkins are removed, and I haven’t complained about radio stations beginning to play Christmas carols before Thanksgiving.
As longtime readers know, these are some of my pet peeves. Just keep my holidays where they belong, please.
Consumerism is an American pastime. There’s no doubt about it. It’s part of what makes America great, and part of what makes her struggle. I’m not going to debate it, and I’m not going to talk about occupying Wall Street or Wal-Mart or anywhere else.
I am going to talk about what a raw deal I think retail employees are getting this year as more stores pushed their Black Friday sales up to Thanksgiving night.
Traditionally, such stores close at least part of a holiday to allow employees time with their families.
Given the economic climate, stores are concerned about their bottom line a lot more than they are concerned about employee morale.
Of course, it could be argued that employees should be grateful to have jobs, and that if the store doesn’t make its money they may not keep their jobs.
I argue that an additional six hours of sales will not make that much of a difference to the bottom line.
Black Friday sales already extend an entire weekend and into Cyber Monday.
Will six hours or so of Thanksgiving shopping make the difference between keeping people employed and layoffs? I doubt it.
How many people are going to get off their sofas after a heavy Thanksgiving meal and fight crowds? How many will leave a football game?
I guess we’ll have to see what the statistics bear out after the fact. I just don’t think it’s a tactic that will work.
Then again, I’m not a business owner, so what do I know?
In the meantime, employees at most of the big box retailers have to work so consumers can take advantage of basically the same deals that they can take advantage of for the next four days.
Maybe I’m just identifying with the little guy, but I think even he deserves a break once in a while.