I admit it. I went to Wal-Mart last year ON Thanksgiving day to go shopping.
I’m not proud of myself, but I was officially part of the problem and not part of the solution.
Let me tell you something: IT. WAS. JAM. PACKED.
Yes, I was part of the problem, but so were about 5000 other people. Every single checkout line was open (there’s about 40 in Wal-mart, right?) and the lines were waaaaaaaaay backed up into the clothing section (which, at my Wal-mart is the section across from the check on lanes). I think I waited about 45 minutes to check out.
People had carts jammed full of stuff (or shall I call it ‘crap’?). I figured it would be crowded, but I had no idea what it was really like.
So, while I will vow not to shop on Thanksgiving this year (or any year in the future), I can’t say I see this trend going away anytime soon. From the looks of it, my Wal-mart made a killing that day! Why won’t they stay open?!? It just makes good business sense.
I really don’t like that stores are opening on Thanksgiving. I do feel bad for the employees. My mom used to work in a nursing home, so every year on either Thanksgiving or Christmas she wouldn’t be around. I realize that a nursing home is 100% different than Wal-mart, but the point is that a family holiday wasn’t really that special when 25% of your family wasn’t at home.
However, as an hourly worker myself (not in retail), I do know the power of overtime and/or double time.
Do these big retailers offer more money to work on the holidays? I’m not sure, but I want to believe they are. I also want to believe the employees VOLUNTEER to work because they can earn a sweet paycheck. I know that if I personally volunteer to work on Memorial Day, Labor Day or 4th of July I am rewarded with some extra pay (my job is not open on Thanksgiving).
Maybe I’m being naive, because the amount of workers needed at Wal-mart last Thanksgiving was astounding, but I’ll keep thinking they all volunteered. Or, heck, maybe when they were hired they knew they would have to work.
I will not be shopping on Thanksgiving. Nothing is that important. I hope that others will follow this new trend. Maybe in a few years retailers will close. I’m curious to see how it all pans out.
Side note – here’s why I was at Wal-mart last Thanksgiving. I was leaving on my honeymoon on black Friday, flying to Hawaii. I had absolutely nothing to do on the plane, so I went to Wal-mart to purchase some yard to crochet my roommate a scarf. Just one measly ball of yarn.