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Vogt's Notes: The demise of Black Friday

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Should we change the name “Thanksgiving Day” to “Black Thursday”?

It seems that’s what some retailers want us to do.

In their never-ending flurry to beat each other with sales and one-of-a-kind deals and to be the first to open, more and more retailers are exploiting Thanksgiving Day by opening their doors to shoppers on the holiday.

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It started years ago with Kmart. Then Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy opened on Thanksgiving Day. And now J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Toys R Us are on board. Some stores that started opening late on Thanksgiving night are continually inching their opening hours earlier and earlier that day. Kmart is opening at 6 a.m. this Thanksgiving Day — 6 a.m.! Will shoppers forego getting the turkey in the oven to shop instead?

Granted, Thanksgiving Day falls late this year (Nov. 28), robbing both shoppers and retailers of six shopping days from Thanksgiving to Christmas that they had last year.

But what about Black Friday being one of the biggest shopping days of the year, the traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season? Many families have time-honored Black Friday traditions.

And what about employees who now have to work on a holiday rather than have the day off like the majority of workers?

I didn’t experience Black Friday shopping until just a few years ago. My family ventured out around 6 a.m., and we had so much fun. This came after a relaxing day spent with family enjoying a nice meal and conversation. It’s become a family tradition to celebrate Thanksgiving and then get up early for some Black Friday shopping.

To me, that’s the way it should be. Enjoy Thanksgiving by gathering with family and friends and giving thanks for all we have. The next day, get up as early as you want and hit the stores for bargains.

Be the first in line at a favorite store, but not at the expense of a longtime, traditional holiday. Let’s keep Black Friday to just that — the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Someone I know said it well: “I hope retailers see a huge backlash from this opening up on Thanksgiving Day because they’ve sure taken the fun out of it.”

I understand the need to be competitive, so I don’t really blame retailers trying to keep up with each other. I just think it would be nice if they could all agree not to open until the true Black Friday — which this year is Friday, Nov. 29.

What are your thoughts? Let me know at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or on Facebook.

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