Dear Black Friday Retailers…
You disappoint me. I used to get up early. I mean, early, to shop with a friend. It was fun, exciting. Special.
But this year you have invaded my holiday. Many of you have opened your doors at a ridiculous hour. Causing your employees to choose between sleeping or celebrating. All so you can line your pockets and your CEO’s get a bonus.
Will these hourly employees see a bonus? Will they even get a raise? Will the Seasonal Employees keep their jobs after the New Year? Prob’ly not.
Do you care that most have family functions? Obviously not.
You offend me with your so-called “Holiday Spirit”. Christmas is not, repeat: not about the money. At least it shouldn’t be. But you think it is. You think it’s only about the money. Don’t pretend you are doing me a favor by dramatically lowering prices one day a year.
If your super low sales prices can sustain you through your “holiday season”, I don’t understand why you don’t keep the prices low all the time. Then perhaps people would shop more regularly. Then perhaps you would have regular income and could afford to hire more permanent help. Then perhaps those people would pump their paychecks back into the economy. Then perhaps the economy would recover more quickly.
If you can afford to lower prices the day after Thanksgiving, why can’t you lower prices on May 10th? Or August 5th? That would be doing me a favor. Or is it that you just don’t want to?
Don’t pretend you’re doing me a favor by opening up so early. Keep your doors closed til 4 a.m. Friday. Let people have the chance to enjoy time with their family and loved ones and get the sleep they need to work a ridiculously busy shift afterward. Let people have a day off without worrying about cutting their visit short, or worse, not being able to travel at all due to time constraints. That would be true “Holiday Spirit”.
It is mean, hurtful, and insensitive to take a beautiful holiday like Christmas and use it for your personal financial gain. Worse, you’ve now encroached on Thanksgiving.
But since you’re not worried about offending me, I guess you won’t mind that I won’t be shopping at your stores any time soon. I’ll be celebrating on Small Business Saturday: my locally owned and operated stores that care enough about their staff to close on Thanksgiving, and to offer good discounts throughout the year. Sure, they’re understaffed and don’t have ten thousand of the same item to sell within the first three hours. But they do have something you don’t: My business.
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!
DISCLAIMER: I wrote this post on Wednesday. On Thanksgiving Day, my daughter and I arrived at my mom’s down the street to find my brother had driven down to surprise us for the weekend. He recently moved five hours away and is in search of a Home Goods Store. So on Black Friday, we will be riding along with him to the closest location, which is 45 minutes away from here. I can’t convince him to come back down next week to avoid Black Friday, or even shop somewhere else. I don’t plan to spend any money, and we’re not leaving at the crack at dawn. In fact, we’re just going “along for the ride” so to speak, in an attempt to spend more time with him before he leaves… and drive Mom crazy with our over-talking, loud-laughing, sibling banter. And maybe a Christmas sing-along or two. … He’s already been warned that he’d best not get me to compromise my anti-spending stance… but if he wants to spend money on us, hey. That’s his call. Welcome home, Bro.