Outraged Because Businesses are Opening on Thanksgiving? Don’t Blame the Businesses

thanksgiving-walmart-openBetween now and Thanksgiving, you’re sure to hear a seemingly endless chorus of complaints by many (and rightfully so) about the businesses opening on Thanksgiving for the sake of “Black Friday deals.”  It’s a pattern that started a few years ago.  Businesses opening at midnight, then 11:00, then 10:00, then 8:00 — you get the picture.  Every year it seems “Black Friday” is turning into “Thanksgiving Thursday.”

These businesses claim they’re just trying to give consumers the best deals as early as possible in the name of “saving Americans money.”  But we all know what this is — greed, pure and simple.  It’s one business trying to one-up the other.

Now I certainly don’t begrudge anyone trying to make money.  That being said, I firmly believe not everything should always be about money.  For a couple of days a year, family should be our main priority.

But I don’t blame these businesses.  How can I?  Sure, they’re greedy bastards that would sell the souls of every American in this country if it increased their revenue.   But the decision to open on Thanksgiving wasn’t made by them.  Consumers are the ones who made that decision.

It’s just basic economics.  It’s what I say proves trickle-down economics is a sham.

Demand is the reason why these businesses continue to open earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving.  If tens of millions of Americans weren’t flocking to Walmart, Target or these other businesses, there’d be no reason for them to open on Thanksgiving.

After all, what’s the point of opening on Thanksgiving evening if nobody shows up?

Oh, but they do—by the millions.

And that’s why this despicable trend continues to get worse.  Demand is what creates jobs.  Demand is what generates revenue.  And demand is what opens businesses on Thanksgiving.

It’s the, “Well, I just need one thing and that’s it” people.  The, “Well, I’ve never shopped on Black Friday before, this is the first time” people.  And of course it’s the regular Black Friday shoppers who’ll wait in seemingly endless lines to save a few bucks.  It’s the mind set of, “They’re going to be open anyway, so I might as well benefit from it.”

So we can vilify these businesses all we want.  We can hold “Boycott Walmart on Black Friday” signs every year.  But the demand for earlier Black Friday hours continues to grow.

A demand that’s created by consumers, not the businesses.  Granted, these businesses aren’t blameless in all of this — but like I said before, if nobody showed up on Thanksgiving they’d have no reason to be open.

But the problem is, millions do show up—and every year that number grows.  As do the number of businesses opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving.

So in all the outrage over more and more of these businesses opening on Thanksgiving, when all is said and done, consumers deserve most of the blame. Don’t like it? Do what you can to change consumer shopping habits, one friend or family member at a time.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Mickstertor

    If you live in small town American where Walmart has taken over, you might as well go shopping on Thanksgiving since most of your family members will be at work anyway.

  • suburbancuurmudgeon

    NO, the businesses made the decision to open early. Consumer demand is an excuse.

    • Coolrain

      I agree. If companies cared about their employees, they will be allowed personal uninterrupted time with their families for the holiday, so they open their doors the next day.

      • HaroldSaxon980

        A company that cares about their employees? I heard these things existed at some time…long ago…but I considered them only a legend.

      • Shawn Ryu

        Employees chose to work there, and from experience many of them dont care about Thanksgiving anyway.

      • fiona64

        Right … because when the only employer in town is Wal-Mart, you have so many choices about where to work.

        I am especially curious about your source or “many of them dont [sic] care about Thanksgiving anyway.” What was your sample size and survey methodology?

      • Shawn Ryu

        I work in service industry to pay for school…

        But the first point is valid I will give you that.

        But getting Thanksgiving off is not a right.

      • fiona64

        No answer to the question, then?

        I thought not.

      • Shawn Ryu

        I think I answered that question. But you choose to ignore it.

      • fiona64

        No, my question was very clear. You said “Most people don’t care about Thanksgiving.”

        I asked how you know that, what your sample size was, and what your survey methodology was. You just said “I work in service industry to pay for school.”

        That’s non-responsive.

        Don’t make claims you can’t back up about what “most people” do or do not think; it ultimately makes you look foolish.

      • Shawn Ryu

        I said many, I didnt say majority or had a specific number. I know many people in service industry who doesnt need thanks giving off. You are pretending as if I pretended I had hard stat. I dont, admittedly, but the point was that not everyone wants Thanksgiving off or need Thanksgiving off. Dont speak for them, as if you really care.

      • fiona64

        Yeah, actually, I *do* care. Work/life balance is important. Spending time with your loved ones is important. Being forced to work Thanksgiving so your employer can make a few million more dollars is NOT good — and yes, people are being forced to work on those days, or lose their jobs.

        You are moving the goal-posts (not that this surprises me) when someone calls you out.

        PS: When you say “most people” (which is what you said, not “many people”), you are saying “the majority.’ That’s what “most” means. Gah.

      • Shawn Ryu

        I didnt even say most. Whos moving the goal post here? I said many people. Having a job is not a right. You dont want to make money for your employers? Go work somewhere else. Sorry but employers have just as much right as anyone else, to do whatever they wish for their business.

      • fiona64

        You’re right; you said “many.” My apologies.

        Having a job is not a right. You dont want to make money for your employers? Go work somewhere else.

        Yep, because jobs are just growing on trees. Take your faux-libertarian faux-concern and shove it.

      • Shawn Ryu

        Maybe you need a doze of reality before making stupid comments. Employers cant cater to the needs of every employees.

        Maybe you dont realize freedom is for everybody, not just for few.

      • James Turner

        That’s the most popular excuse used by people who dine out on Thanksgiving and Christmas. These people don’t have any family and would rather work than be alone, that’s BS used to rid people of the quilt they’d feel. Those who wait on you because of you don’t care to be with loved ones,you’re to lazy to cook, or because you have no one? They’re there because they don’t want to lose their jobs.

      • Shawn Ryu

        While I cant disagree, businesses open on holidays because there are customers on holidays.

        So instead of blaming the businesses, a lot of them which doesnt have a choice but to stay open to make little profit they can to stay alive, blame consumers maybe.

        McD and big businesses arent the only ones opening.

  • Doodah

    People are broke and forced to shop when they can get the “best” deal. Of course if the stores have the cheapest prices that day, people will shop then…

    • HaroldSaxon980

      I know a lot of broke people who get by and still don’t support black friday. No one is forced to shop, ever. In addition, they’re not selling groceries for ridiculous prices on Black Friday, it’s superfluous electronics. There is absolutely NO excuse for supporting that bullocks.

      • carlie

        I’ve shopped Black Friday for years, and more and more it’s people buying clothes and coats for their kids at half price that they can’t afford to get at any other time. When you’re making min. wage and have a family, you have to do the math that your own time isn’t worth enough to not stand in line for bargains, no matter how inconvenient.

  • HaroldSaxon980

    I try to convince people, unfortunately, no one is willing to listen when they distracted by $150 Galaxy Tablets, they couldn’t give a shite less…

  • Lori Burdick Grantham

    They could have these Great Thanksgiving deals on say Saturday instead of Thanksgiving. If the store WASN’T open, customers would NOT be able to get inside. If they want to be away from their families and stand in long lines waiting for the doors to open for Black Friday, then let them stand there. These business are the blame for workers being forced to leave their families on the holiday to come make the business money. The pay they receive is pennies compared to what the companies already have. LEAVE the employee’s alone and give them time with their families!

    • Chris Ballenger

      I don’t think that you are considering the fact that many of those employees COUNT on those overtime hours to make ends meet during the holidays. Trying to shut a store like Walmart down on Thanksgiving is actually stealing money from those employees pockets, food from their tables, and gifts from under their trees.

      • fiona64

        Um, sweetie? WalMart makes sure that none of its employees work more than 30 hours/week on their regular schedule — which means that the extra 10 hours for this nonsense comes out of *regular* pay. No overtime funds involved.

  • RN

    The more ridiculous thing is that most of the electronics and “big savings” items will be returned by the end of the year because the Black Friday items are generally shitty versions of the regular items. The only positive thing I can say about it is that at least it should cut down on the amount of people being up all night and getting killed running for these stupid items.

  • Matthew Reece

    I have a hypothesis about Christmas shopping. People spend a lot of money they don’t have on things they don’t need. They then lose more money by paying off their credit cards at interest the following year. This is a form of malinvestment, which true to the Austrian business cycle theory, produces the lackluster stock market environment from February to May. This is because consumers cannot spend as much on goods and services during those months while they are still paying off debts from Christmas shopping. (There is a spike in April, but this is easily explained by people getting and spending their income tax refunds.) This goes unnoticed by economists because it has been this way for so long that people have gotten used to it and assume it is just a natural occurrence without a precise cause.

  • Shawn Ryu

    Its not a right to get Thanksgiving off folks.

    • James Turner

      Neither is Christmas, which is the last of the holidays to be recognized as a time for loved onesor, oneself. It’s all part of our societies loss of decency, courtesy, respect, and compassion for one another.

  • shopper

    If people refused to shop, the stores wouldn’t open. I won’t even shop on Fri. anymore. Tried that a few years back at a Walmart. They made the national news – they had no crowd control and at least one lady was rushed to the hospital after being trampled. I’m surprised more weren’t hurt the way people were racing through the store pushing the carts into everyone. Never again. Most of the ‘great’ prices are on out-dated models that might have been that price earlier. If you know what you want, start checking prices even in Sept.

  • Carole Ryan

    He is exactly right. Also, in most major malls, if the main store decides to open early, the other stores have to follow suit according to their leases. The only thing that will stop these stores from opening these ridiculous hours is for the public NOT TO SHOP on Thanksgiving. Really, the prices will be that low again before Christmas. It has gotten ridiculous.

  • littleblacksnake

    I hate crowds. I shop online. The last time I went shopping on Thanksgiving, was at a drug store. I had terrible heartburn and needed something for it.

  • Elf_E

    One person will NOT make a difference. You have to get EVERYONE to not shop. Good luck with that! I might as well go and get my items. Plus, do you guys boycott hotels? How about hospitals? People have to work ALL Holidays there.

  • Everett Rice

    Can’t agree, some time back a few businesses created the demand by advertising promoting outrageous savings on select items which in most cases they never had in adequate quantities to supply the created demand. The nature of cut throat capitalism in this country fed by greed has been forcing every other business to offer more ridiculous loss leading sales earlier and earlier to the point this year where OFFICE SUPPLY stores are opening on the evening of Thanksgiving Day itself. Sure, blame the gullible moronic public for falling for behavior they would never have learned if not for the greedy retailers it’s the American way.

  • Scott Massar

    The article is correct. A long time ago all businesses were closed on Sundays. If no one showed up they wouldn’t open. With that said however, I did receive an email from VF Outlets that said they were closed on Thanksgiving to let their employees and customers enjoy their families….

  • Judy Jackson

    IF the only day someone can spend with their family is Thanksgiving Day, I feel sorry for your family. Holidays are what each person makes them. My ex is a nurse who worked holidays. We made our OWN holidays. |There are 365 days in a year. Stop being whiney idiots & MAKE your own holidays & traditions.