SAU Buzz

A Day to Eat Turkey or a Day to Shop

by Taylor Beitzel
Posted on Nov 27, 2016

Each year, Black Friday seems to grow. It used to be early Friday morning, then it was earlier Friday morning and now it is Thursday.

But some stores are fighting back against this merge between Thanksgiving and Black Friday by refusing to open.  At least ten major retailers closed their doors on Thanksgiving including Office Depot, Sam’s Club and Cabela’s.

This allowed employees to spend the holiday with their families, an issue that was raised in 2014 by Walmart employees.

“This year was great because I didn’t have to try to work Thanksgiving into my work schedule,” Isaac Elias, Davenport Office Max Assistant Manager, said. “There’s nothing better than spending holidays with your family.” 

But staying closed, means missing some of the sales. Thanksgiving Day spending in 2014 totaled a little over $1 billion, up almost $250 thousand from the previous year.

However, this remains a small fraction of total spending on the following day. In 2015, Black Friday shoppers spent a total of $626.1 billion.

Even a power outage at North Park Mall didn’t deter shoppers from finding the best deals. The mall, which extended its hours into Thanksgiving, looked busy all day that Friday.

“It wasn’t as buys as past years,” Taylor Jack, Davenport Office Max Print Supervisor, said. “We has a lot more online orders to fill, so fewer people were actually coming in the store to shop.”

Cyber Monday has grown almost as huge as Black Friday. Instead of braving the cold wind, long lines and crazy shoppers, people can now shop from home.

In a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation in 2015 more adults were shopping online on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Although the margins were slim.

“Even though it was really annoying to be filling online orders all afternoon, it was definitely better than having to come in super early,” Elias said.

But Office Max online orders do not have anything on Amazon, where customers ordered 629 items per second.

“Last year on Cyber Monday, Amazon customers ordered more than 54 million items worldwide […] and it’s expected that this year will be even bigger,” Amazon.com, Inc. said.

Despite growing online sales and the overwhelming difference one day can make, companies might not be willing to part with Thanksgiving.

“When I was at Walmart, Black Friday was completely organized chaos,” Saxton Reynolds, former Walmart employee said. “I can’t imagine having to work Thanksgiving and Black Friday, it would be crazy.”

Walmart has been integrating its online and in-store sales to keep the huge sale as organized as possible.

“We’ve planned this event for over a year,” Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer at Walmart, said in 2015. “Our stores were organized, well-prepared and safe.”

As long as there are customers willing to shop and companies are making money on Thanksgiving, stores will most likely continue to open.