Midnight. That’s the time Valdosta Mall dictated that stores open on ‘black Friday.’
My friends own a little Mom and Pop business kiosk in the mall. They are retirement age and decided to open this business to give them extra income and flexibility in their golden years.
But all is not golden when it comes to holiday shopping and the hours for small businesses in the current economy. When stores like Walmart, Target and other large retailers open at midnight, how are Mom and Pop businesses to compete?
My retired friends run the business themselves. They don’t hire extra workers, because frankly, there’s not enough money to pay an extra hand. They open the shop during the fall season, in an effort to cash in on holiday shopping. Running a business with only two people on a shoestring budget is hard enough without the mall demanding that stores open at midnight on Thanksgiving night.
Some of corporate America mandates that their employees work on Thanksgiving and come back at midnight to open the store for a bevy of shoppers looking for a bargain. These very bargains that CNN Money reporter Clark Howard says aren’t much of a bargain.
Sure, there are door busters and an occasional bargain, but when major retailers are saying that they will price match advertised prices online, it all becomes a numbers game. That and corporate greed.
Retail workers are being made to work shifts on Thanksgiving Day and then come back for a shift on Thanksgiving night and there seems to be no payoff. The employee is unable to spend time with their family because what little time they have at home will be spent eating and napping in preparation for an eight hour shift the next morning or later that night even. So much for quality of life.
It all boils down to the almighty dollar. This is the very corporate greed that got us into this financial mess we are trying to pull out of. Let’s face it; you can only make so much in profit before you’ve reached the maximum dollar amount possible. Then corporate America does what it does best: lay off workers so that it can look better on paper.
So, when my friends open their small shop on Thanksgiving Thursday night at midnight, they will do so with only two employees: Mom and Pop. It’s certainly not as if they want to, but to remain competitive in the world dictated by corporate greed they have no choice.
If the Valdosta Mall has a valid reason for this policy and isn’t mired in corporate greed, I am happy to hear it. But, who’s to say that next year they won’t have to open at noon on Thanksgiving? This looks more realistic from year to year. Personally, I would prefer that we go back to the days of allowing employees to spend time with their families and not opening retail doors until 8 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving.