Just Say No to Black Thursday

Here it is Black Friday, the malls have been mobbed since midnight, and retailers are saying they want to be allowed to open on Thanksgiving Day too. They argue that consumers should have the choice to shop on Thanksgiving, which state law now prohibits. Rep. Colleen Garry has in fact filed legislation (House Bill 00989; perhaps it’s one of several) to allow stores to sell anything, anytime – even on Christmas, unless it falls on a Sunday. Say what? Does Rep. Garry believe that the Friday Frenzy isn’t sufficient to pump up the economy and that consumers are being denied the opportunity to escape from their tedious family gatherings?

When I worked in retail I was pretty put off by being forced to report on Labor Day, as if it didn’t apply to me. Now store owners want their staff on call for Thanksgiving too, as if that’s what workers really want. Has Rep Garry polled retail workers how they feel about being dragged into work, possibly all night and into Friday?

Extending the frenzy won’t necessarily produce meaningful marginal sales. Stores quickly run out of prized items in a few hours anyway and most shoppers aren’t interested in back-to-back marathons. There must be morons who would spend both days at the mall, but I don’t think the Commonwealth should be catering to them or to the retail associations. Let compulsive shoppers spend the day driving to other states.

Will, please oppose bill 00989 and any other measure that would trash holidays for workers and add to centrifugal forces families already face.

Published by Geoff Dutton

Belmont resident since 1998. Technical write/editor and essayist.

2 replies on “Just Say No to Black Thursday”

  1. Will, I agree with this, certainly in the case of Thanksgiving which is not an overtly religious holiday (hence, no particular problems with religious discrimination). Might be nice to restore this status for a few other holidays (Labor Day, in particular, seems like a day when people ought not be required to work, and again, not religious).

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