Niagara Gazette

Columns

November 28, 2013

GLYNN: Shopping can take edge off family tradition

Niagara Gazette — Thanksgiving, unfortunately, has lost some of its luster. 

Maybe it’s because of Black Friday, the most hyped shopping day of the year, when people have been known to trample on others in pursuit of a bargain. Or is it the family? Relatives and guests sitting in the living room just to watch football games or text someone they haven’t seen for more than an hour.

Retailers themselves are often the villains for tearing at the family fabric. Many employees are now being pressured to work on Thanksgiving Day so the business owners can get a jump start of the holiday shopping. (Some employers, it should be noted, said they will not open today so employees can spend time with their families: Home Depot. T.J. Maxx, BJs, and Marshalls, to name a few).

Nearly one in four persons participating in a recent survey by the National Retail Federation said they would be shopping on Thanksgiving. Some retailers staying open defend their policy because the 2013 holiday shopping season is just 27 days, the shortest period between Thanksgiving and Christmas since 2002. 

For starters, the frenzy over the Christmas shopping has pushed the turkey dinner with all its trimmings to the back burner. The Big Box stores have jump-started the Black Friday sales blitz to the point that it adversely affects people trying to celebrate the occasion with loved ones. 

“I’ll be working (Thanksgiving) but I don’t care. I’ll be getting double time,” said a young clerk Monday at a retail store on Niagara Falls Boulevard. Sharing a meal with the family was of no concern to her. “Besides if I work that day, I can pay some bills that I’ve had since I got laid off,” the clerk added.

While some major retailers might be holding back for the Black Friday rush, a survey shows that an estimated 33 million people or 23 percent responding to the poll, concede that they’ll probably spend at least some time in stores on Thanksgiving. 

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