Is nothing sacred anymore? Earlier today Walmart announced it will be opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving to offer its Black Friday deals. That’s two hours earlier than last year!
The company is clearly caving to pressure from other companies that are all looking to be the biggest hit on Black Friday. In recent years many other stores have decided to open up on Thanksgiving evening, but Walmart has reached a new level.
The executive vice president and chief merchandising and marketing officer said, “Everyone’s moved up this year so it will be a new dynamic.” Although Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year and can account for up to 40% of a store’s annual revenue, it seems to now be encroaching on the holiday and family time.
While one can understand the business angle of this decision, it is hard to see the cultural affect. The stores will need to be staffed by employees who will now be having their holidays cut short. Additionally, with so many families still suffering from the economic downturn, there will be a lot of people depending on these sales in order to afford a Christmas they want.
The question that still seems to resound is: when does Black Friday become Black Thursday and Friday? How far will this go and when will the American people begin to realize some days are meant for family?