Is Black Friday the new Black Plague?

Perhaps the biggest holiday of the year is Christmas, a time for being appreciative of what one has, and giving to those who don’t. The beginning of this holiday season is symbolized by Thanksgiving, a day in which we reflect on all that we are thankful for. Yet the following day is considered the biggest shopping day of the entire year– Black Friday. We talk about all that we are thankful for, and then within hours are fighting each other in the aisles of stores for the best deals. What’s worse is now, Black Friday doesn’t even begin on Friday anymore. Retail workers are ripped from their Thanksgivings in order to open up stores to the demanding public on Thursday.

But some stores are not alone in the idea that Thanksgiving should be about time with family, and not about the latest and greatest deal. Stores like Costco, Nordstrom, BJ’s, and other larger stores have decided to shut their doors and let employees take the day off, as they deserve (http://www.prnewsonline.com/water-cooler/2013/11/27/retailers-look-to-boost-pr-by-staying-closed-on-black-friday/).

These companies are making a great move. Not only does it boost employee morale, it also presents a good image to the public. These companies look family-oriented, and are more likely to get patient shoppers the next day, and in the future. If I were a public relations practitioner for a retail company, I would definitely encourage corporate headquarters to give employees the day off on Thanksgiving. I would also propose an idea to close for Black Friday as well, and instead offer the same quality of sales and discounts for the entire week following Black Friday. Generally, shoppers pick and choose which places they visit on Black Friday and in which order so they can get the best deals, and our store may be cut from the list. By closing Black Friday, we increase employee morale even further. We also will increase the probability that a greater number of customers will come in the following week and purchase more things.

Thanksgiving begins the start of a great holiday about giving. So why does it start with self-centered shopping?

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