If there is one major retail outfit that defines the Thanksgiving holiday for many Americans, it would have to be Macy's. For nine decades, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade has been a staple of the holiday with its amazing floats, legions of dancers and musicians and huge inflated balloons. But now, Macy's has come to define the Thanksgiving of 21st century America--one in which rampant corporate greed and mindless zombie consumerism has gotten completely out of control:
Macy's recently announced that it will be opening its stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving as opposed to 8 p.m. last year, further cutting into its employees' holiday.When I last wrote about this issue back in 2011, the big controversy was that retail stores were pushing their Black Friday openings into late Thanksgiving night, specifically to 11:00 P.M. that evening. At the time I wrote a prediction that reading it now startles even me:
According to USA Today, Macy's is trying to get a head start on the Black Friday weekend, and said the earlier hours are "in response to the significant, sustained customer interest in last year's opening on Thanksgiving."
And if the economy continues to get worse, no doubt next year the big box stores will be open at 8:00 on Thanksgiving, or 6:00. Or hell, why not just open them at noon? That way you can take your Thanksgiving dinner with you in a picnic basket to eat while you are waiting in line. That's a win-win if I've ever heard one.Heck, as it turned out I was only off by two years. And while it would be a stretch to say the economy has gotten worse since 2011, AT BEST it has been running in place, especially for most of those in the working and middle classes.
So what is Macy's official justification for this move? For that, I will take you back to the original article:
However, The Wall Street Journal reported last year that "retail spending over Thanksgiving weekend dropped for the first time in at least seven years" even though "retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Macy's Inc. kicked off sales earlier on Thanksgiving Day."See there's the problem. It wasn't that cash-strapped consumers just don't have as much money to throw away frivolously around the holidays anymore. Nope, the problem was that the stores just weren't open long enough to accommodate all the buyers. That's management "logic" for you in 21st century America. Not surprising, when they are paying money for advice from the likes of this fucking moron:
"Consumers have started to accept that shopping on Thanksgiving is a growing habit," Steve Osburn, director of the management consulting firm Kurt Salmon, told USA Today. "With consumer acceptance comes more people shopping."Well, obviously not if sales are DECLINING despite the stores being open longer.
Even more despicable is how Macy's is trying to defend itself against charges that it is ruining its employees' Thanksgiving holiday:
Macy's says that most of its work shifts for Thanksgiving Day have been filled voluntarily by employees.Even if that's true, it's pretty damn sad because what it really means is that the employees in question need the money so badly that they can't even afford to take one Thursday off.
As for the
Bonus: "This was an important place in their lives"