Cyber Thursday Thanksgiving Shopping Means More Time, More ControversyCyber Thursday is not a holiday. It’s the day before Black Friday. It’s a day you have to spend with your family when you could be shopping. This year, at some retailers, it’s Thanksgiving Shopping Day. Still, it’s a shame. Thanksgiving is the final stand of the holidays that were about eating rather than buying. Now Black Friday spills over into Cyber Thursday. We knew it would come to this.
Target will open its doors at 9:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving, three hours earlier than a year ago, to kick off the holiday shopping season. The store joins several other major retailers, including Wal-Mart, that are opening earlier in the evening on the holiday. In recent years, stores have been expanding their hours on Black Friday to get ahead of the competition, but the kickoff is increasingly happening right after shoppers finish their turkey feast – on Cyber Thursday.
Wal-Mart said last week it will begin its holiday sale at 8:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving, two hours earlier than last year. Sears stores will open at 8:00 p.m. on Cyber Thursday. Kmart stores have been open on Thanksgiving for years. Lord & Taylor, which was closed on Thanksgiving last year, will now be open on Cyber Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Toys R Us, which opened its stores at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night last year, will open them an hour earlier this year. Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic chains will open over 1,100 stores on Thanksgiving, up from nearly 1,000 locations last year. Best Buy, Kohl’s and Macy’s will each open their doors at midnight, after Thanksgiving.
Several anti-Cyber Thursday protest petitions have been created on the website Change.org suggesting that the big stores keep their doors shut on Thanksgiving. One petition from a Target employee who wanted the chain to remain closed on the holiday and avoid “Thanksgiving creep” had more than 148,000 supporters by Monday morning. A group of Wal-Mart workers are planning to stage a walkout on Black Friday, the largest holiday shopping day for the world’s largest retail store. The union-backed groups OUR Walmart and Making Change at Wal-Mart, and a watchdog group Corporate Action Network, are calling on the nation’s largest employer to end what they call retaliation against employees who speak out for better pay, fair schedules and affordable health care.