Everyone who knows me knows that my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. What’s not to love? Parades, Football and Food! But mostly, I love what it stands for: taking a breath from our hectic lives to pause and be grateful. For all that we have. For whatever we have. And sharing what we have with anyone we can – without pressure to decorate, share gifts or practice our faith. Just a time to pause and acknowledge that in a world where everyone wants more, we are truly happiest when we stop and acknowledge what we already have. It is the most American of holidays and one that can be celebrated equally by every American.
Unless you work for one of these greedy, uncreative, frightened retailers who has decided to open at midnight. Here in Minneapolis, Mall of America, Best Buy and Target have jumped on that bandwagon. What it means for their employees is that they have to arrive for their shifts at least by 10pm – to work overnight. How will they be able to celebrate with their family when they need to catch a nap and leave their homes by 9pm? Trust me, I live in a retail household. My spouse and son were already planning on leaving the house at 3am to be at their stores by the time the doors open.
So my hat is off to Apple at Mall of America, at least, that said NO when MOA asked them to open at Midnight.
Think about it:
Just a couple weeks ago they shut the doors on every store in America for three hours in the middle of the day to honor the life of Steve Jobs and to remind their people that they carry forward the true spirit of Apple. Their customers understood. Their customers respected their choice. Their customers returned when the store was open. The company paid hourly employees to do no more than rededicate themselves to their careers with Apple. And in return, Apple is telling its employees that they truly matter. Their families matter. Customers will be there when the doors open.
I can think of no lazier way to improve “comp store sales” than to open the doors when they were closed the year prior. Clearly, it is a lack of innovation that can be seen in this desperate move by second rate retailers. BTW – Don’t all of these retailers have online sites that can deliver midnight sales for customers intent on spending money on Thanksgiving? Opening brick and mortar stores is rather counterproductive. If retailers really need to sell on Thanksgiving Day and before 4am on Black Friday, why not create compelling online offers? Of course, the only way to make this stop is to not shop at midnight. Plenty of people will love this. Who will be at stores at midnight? People who place greed and acquisition above gratitude and family —- both retailers and the shoppers.