By LAUREN CORMIER
Stores are opening earlier and earlier every year, but when will it be early enough? In Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine it is illegal for large retail stores to open on Thanksgiving.
It’s the legacy of so-called “blue laws,” which prohibit large supermarkets, big box stores and department stores from opening on Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is a great idea that should be adopted around the United States, especially for the benefit of the workers at these retail stores.
Anyone who passed by the Fredericksburg Central Park Best Buy the weekend before Thanksgiving saw a tarp set up with someone patiently waiting first in line.
While it is true many people have fun doing this kind of thing, is the amount of money being saved really worth the pricelessness of a Thanksgiving spent with family and a home cooked meal.
I have done my fair share of Black Friday shopping and agree that the deals are usually hard to resist, but I have never let it interfere with family time. Thanksgiving should be a time of giving thanks and reflecting on life and everything we should be grateful for. “Black Friday,” as the name suggests should be saved for Friday.
According to a 2006 MotherJones article, Bart Reed, Best Buy Co.’s consumer marketing director, told the Charleston Gazette that the company decided not to open its stores any earlier than 5 a.m. on “Black Friday” because it wanted to give its employees a “work-life balance.”
Then, five years later, Best Buy moved its “Black Friday” opening back to Thursday at midnight. This year, for the first time, it opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. There is a general trend of stores opening earlier and earlier every year.
Another very important issue associated with “Black Friday” is violence. The webpage, BlackFridayDeathCount.com, kept track of all deaths and injuries related to Black Friday shopping since 2006. The site references disturbing reports of stabbings, car crashes, tramplings and pepper sprayings. This year alone there was one death and 15 reported injuries.
Prohibiting stores from opening on Thanksgiving would be a great idea with more help than harm.
Hardcore shoppers would still be able to go out on Friday to get their merchandise and workers would not be bothered with having to go into work, instead they could enjoy their Thanksgiving in full.
There is certain backwardness in having “Black Friday” take place Thursday evening and that is a problem that is only getting worse.