A Facebook friend was applauding Costco after the retailer said it would not open on Thanksgiving Day. The company wants its employees to be able to spend time with their families.
I appreciate that sentiment, but I suppose I’m too libertarian to condemn retailers that choose to open on Thanksgiving. Ditto for those employees who choose to work for those retailers.
Recently, my daughter landed a part-time job at one of the stores at Carolina Premium Outlets. The folks there told her she would need to work on Thanksgiving Day, when the store will open at 6 p.m. According to the outlet center’s website, only four other stores will open that early on Thanksgiving, but that is their prerogative based on when they think shoppers will be ready to shop.
My daughter readily said yes to working on Thanksgiving Day because she likes her car and cell phone. She had a job at a restaurant, but it reduced her hours so dramatically that she could no longer afford, literally, to work there. Another restaurant promised her hours but after a couple of days never called her back.
Our deal has always been that my daughter could enjoy her car and cell phone as long as she had a job. After the restaurant jobs petered out in early October, I gave her until Nov. 30 to find another job; otherwise, she’d had to give up the car and phone.
So on Nov. 11, my daughter interviewed for a job at the outlet store. Five days later, she attended orientation. She was scheduled to work her first shift this week. By the way, when my daughter interviewed for the job, she asked if it was seasonal or permanent. They told her it was permanent if she could work Black Friday and the day after Christmas. She told the store she could work both. She likes her car and cell phone that much.
This country’s economy runs on consumerism. At the height of the recession, the government even paid people to buy cars and appliances, and until recently, North Carolina held a sales-tax holiday once a year to encourage consumer spending. Does it surprise anyone then that some stores opt to open on Thanksgiving?
Yes, because my daughter has to work on Thanksgiving, we will have to alter our holiday plans slightly, eating a little earlier and returning home sooner. But that’s her choice and the store’s choice. And I’m not one to judge.