Thanksgiving Day is upon us, and so is the manic, holiday rush that immediately follows.
Well, the true starting point of this consumer-fueled retail holiday known as Black Friday has spread into our Thursdays. And, how did we let that happen?
It wasn’t too long ago that we all looked forward to Thanksgiving Day to take a much needed day off of work, spend time with family and friends we’ve missed throughout the year and to follow through with the traditions passed down by our grandparents.
Times have changed.
A few months back, we did a feature on Arthur Fudge, a 28-year-old retailer at Crossgates Mall, who was at the helm of a grassroots effort to persuade the mall to close its doors Thursday.
Did it work? No. Crossgates Mall opens its doors at 8 p.m. Thursday and remains open until 1 a.m.
In danger of invoking Norman Rockwell yet again, it would be curious to see how the artist would depict the holiday if he were alive today. Perhaps he would still paint the dinner table scene as he had, but with half the table dressed in retail store polo shirts, each anxiously looking at his and her cellphone for the time or texting.
Fudge’s efforts to go up against the Al’mighty Dollar was commendable, and many were optimistic to see him succeed. More than 1,000 people signed his online petition. Each virtual signature sent an email directly to the top brass of Pyramid Management Group. All 1,000 of them. But, it’s unlikely you would find someone who would believe Fudge’s “People Before Profits” campaign would work.
This corporate business model has been followed for a handful of years now, and it’s disgusting.
How dare you encroach on our family time. It would be an assumption, but one safe to make, that the recepients of those 1,000 emails will not be working this Thursday. The shop owner struggling to make ends meet, the college kid who could be spending a few more hours with grandparents, and the grandparents desperately wanting to spend more time with family will suffer over five more hours.
And, those shop owners outside the mall now feel the pressure to open their doors, too, over the panic of potentially losing sales.
Apologies are owed to you, the reader, as this is an argument not based on data. You won’t find numbers supporting how the dollars received through purchases are ironically eclipsed by operation expenses. You won’t see how the profits earned in five hours translates to a small drop in the bucket for shop owners. No figures were gathered. This is just an opinion. An opinion based on Thanksgiving days passed. Memories of family. Smiling faces. A warm kitchen. Maybe a little football.
Wish you won, Arthur.