Opinion: Black Friday prevents retail workers from spending time with family

Image from flickr.com

Tyler Tousley |Opinions Editor
Nov. 20, 2015; 12:00 p.m.

© 2013 by GameStop®. All rights reserved. GameStop and PowerUp Rewards are trademarks or registered trademarks of GameStop. "Power to the Players" is a registered trademark of Elbo Inc.
© 2013 by GameStop®. All rights reserved. GameStop and PowerUp Rewards are trademarks or registered trademarks of GameStop. “Power to the Players” is a registered trademark of Elbo Inc.

Black Friday is quickly approaching and not every company is getting ready. Companies such as Gamestop and Dillard’s will not be opening their doors on Thanksgiving. Others, like REI, have decided to be completely closed on black Friday. When I found out that businesses were doing this I was ecstatic.

I have worked in retail for some time, so Black Friday is something that affects me directly. Since I was 16, I have just assumed that spending my Thanksgiving break with my family and friends is unrealistic. This will be the fifth year in a row that I will be clocking in on Thanksgiving Day and the day after.

I understand where those who do participate in Black Friday are coming from. For the businesses, it is a phenomenal way to make a profit, and for consumers, it is a great time to find an unbelievable deal. Let’s examine it for a second.

The name of the event is Black Friday. It is not called “Black Friday and Thursday night”—though if it were, I would hope they would come up with a catchier name than that. Stores should not be opening their doors until Friday. This means no earlier than 12 a.m. Friday. Honestly, though, even that seems a bit ridiculous to me.

Logo from REI.com
Logo from REI.com

REI is keeping their doors closed this year and will have sale promotions, similar to their previous Black Friday deals, throughout the weekend. They know that people want the sale prices and like a company that supports family values. REI has used this knowledge to their advantage. They are not only giving their employees time to spend with loved ones, but also increasing customer support. It seems that people are willing to wait until Saturday or Sunday in support of a company that institutes the same family values that they, as customers, have. Dillard’s at least gives the holiday to their employees as opposed to most retail stores. Other business need to follow suit.

I am proposing we stop giving these companies incentive to open their stores at five or six on Thursday night. We, as consumers, should vote with our wallets to tell these companies that we care more about spending the time we have with loved ones (or studying for finals) than we do about getting a deal that we can probably still get at 10 a.m. the next morning.

People come back from their brief break and tell me about all of the cool things they got to do with their family, whom they may not have seen in some time due to school. The week following this break, people will ask me what I did and my response will be that I was at work. Although I do not have my schedule for the evening yet, I am confident in saying that my days off will be spent being yelled at by West County moms as opposed to spending time with people I truly care about.

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