Black Thursday? Thanksgiving Shopping Is Here to Stay


Olivia Abeyta, Author

Black Friday has become a staple American event that to some even surpasses Thanksgiving. As the obsession for the best sales continues to grow, the debate over the sacrifice of family time for “unbeatable prices” continues as stores open on Turkey Day rather than the day after.

The early-opening trend began around 2011. This caused an increase in overall holiday sales by as much as 4.6 percent, according to economic analyst Kimberly Amadeo, writing for The Balance. Since then, retailers have continuously creeped back into Thanksgiving day.

Seventy percent of Americans take part in Black Friday sales, according to Courtney Jespersen writing in The Washington Post. If people aren’t spending their time in line, then they are most likely placing orders in front of a screen. Online sales are a focal point of Black Friday as well, with only 42 percent of shoppers actually going to a store.

Recently, an effort is being made by retailers to address growing disapproval from the public about the earlier opening times. Stores and malls are taking sides in the debate, with some not opening until Friday and others continuing to begin sales on Thursday. Whether or not the American consumer wants to begin their shopping on either day is now entirely up to them.

In Santa Fe, retail giants such as Walmart and Target were open on Thanksgiving despite the backlash caused by this decision. Retail employees have spoken up about how Thanksgiving was one of their only holidays off and that family time for them has to be rushed in order to meet the timestamp.

Miranda Archuleta, a current Kohl’s employee, had to work Black Friday and said, “It’s crazy to me how so many people cut Thanksgiving short to go shopping.”

When she arrived at work at 4:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving, there was a line wrapping around the front of the building with customers waiting to get in. “I’m not sure how long they were there for, but my best guess would be for a couple of hours,” she said, adding that the store didn’t open until 5 p.m. “All of that time they could have been spending important time with family instead of shopping.”

Based on a report from Lauren Thomas of CNBC, Black Friday pulled in a record $6.2 billion in online shopping revenue. The report, originally from Adobe Analytics, states, “Online sales on Black Friday jumped 23.6 percent from a year ago.” This can be compared to this year’s online Thanksgiving day sales, which brought in a total of $3.7 billion, a 28 percent increase over last year.

This indicates an overall growth in consumer demand for shopping on Thanksgiving day, whether online or in stores.