Should Retailers Open Their Doors to Shoppers on Thanksgiving?
As some stores throughout the nation announce plans to remain closed on Thanksgiving, some retailers - such as the Deptford Mall - plan to cash in on early holiday shoppers by opening their doors for the November holiday. But not everyone is happy about it.
More than 2,500 people have already signed a Change.org petition urging the Deptford Mall's senior property manager, Jim Mackey, to keep the mall closed on Thanksgiving.
"This is ridiculous! It is taking people away from a holiday that is based around spending time with friends & family," the petition, initiated by mall employee Laura Smith, said.
The mall will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, at a time when many families are gathering for dinner. Mackey said the decision to open the mall was based, in part, on allowing some specialty retailers to open their doors to get a jump start on the holiday shopping season.
"Our hours are actually a factor of decisions made by our department stores and the majority of our specialty retailers who choose to be open on Thanksgiving Day," Mackey said. "We have set our hours to open our doors so that those retailers can conduct their business."
The petition to keep the mall closed comes as some major retailers, such as REI, have announced their refusal to open their doors on Black Friday. REI, the nation's largest consumer co-op and outdoor retailer, sent a letter to its 5.5 million employees announcing plans to close its doors on Black Friday at all 143 of its retail locations, headquarters and two distribution centers.
"Instead of reporting to work, the co-op is paying its 12,000 employees so they can do what they love most – be outside. Starting today, the co-op is inviting the nation to join in by choosing to #OptOutside to reconnect with family and friends this Thanksgiving holiday," the company said in a press release.
Several people who have signed the Deptford Mall petition - many of whom work at the mall - claim opening the shopping center on a holiday is all about "corporate greed." Others simply wanted more time with their families.
"Thanksgiving is a time for family, often one of the only times a year distant relatives get to spend together and catch up. Morality, core family values, and respect have been painfully depreciating in this country. Let's start with giving back Thanksgiving and take a step in the right direction for a change! Be a part of the solution," wrote Jennifer McKenna of Bristol, Pa.
Woodbine, NJ resident Kelly Rupert commented on the petition, stating that holiday shopping deals generally come on Black Friday, not Thanksgiving.
"There is absolutely no reason the mall needs to be open at all on Thanksgiving. If you really can't wait to shop for the holidays then you honestly need to sort your life out. It's called Black Friday for a reason. You get the deals on Friday not the day before," Rupert said.