RD Asks: Should Stores Open on Thanksgiving?

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For the first time ever, Kmart has announced that it will open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day—and stay open until 11 p.m. on Black Friday. And J.C. Penney and Macy’s, for the first time in their histories, are opening on Thanksgiving evening at 8 p.m. (and remaining open through Friday). Other stores have responded by moving up their opening hours to their earliest yet on Thanksgiving: for Toys R Us, that’s 5 p.m.; Best Buy, 6 p.m.; and Kohl’s and Target, 8 p.m.

Critics say that the businesses are commercializing the holiday and also separating working people from their families at what should be a special time. Kmart says that it will make all efforts to rely on staffers who specifically volunteer to work that day. The company said in a statement: “This gives associates the opportunity to make some additional money this holiday season,” which could be more significant for employees this year since there are six fewer shopping (or working) days because of when the holidays fall.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest