Starting the Conversation – Should Retail Stores Be Open for Thanksgiving?


By Marianne Reid Anderson

For decades, retail stores know that they need to be “out of the red” and “into the black” in other words, financially profitable, by the end of Thanksgiving weekend to survive another year. This fact gave rise to retailers offering tremendous discounts and sales the day after Thanksgiving which has become known as “Black Friday.”

However, over the past few years, more and more stores have begun their Black Friday sales early, on Thanksgiving itself. When stores do this, it means that their employees can no longer be with their families on Thanksgiving. As one retail employee said to me, “Do people really need to run out to buy a can of paint on Thanksgiving? I would be even a better employee over the heavy shopping days of the weekend if I had the chance to be with my family and enjoy the holiday.” Even early-bird shoppers aren’t happy about it because they feel the need to give up being with their families to hit the stores before the crowds.

Of course, with so many shoppers foregoing the stores and shopping online, thereby opting for “Cyber Monday” over “Black Friday,” is being open for Thanksgiving a necessary evil?

But as always, what do you think? Let’s continue the conversation on my blog at, email me at or send me a “Letter to the Editor” at P.O Box 722 Wexford, PA 15090-0722 attn: Marianne Reid Anderson.