Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Shoppers to blame for holiday rush

Every year November rolls around and buckets of Thanksgiving joy are rained down on Americans everywhere. All over America, people give thanks for their families, loved ones, life successes and many other things. Unfortunately, all of us have Thanksgiving marred by Black Friday.
The major complaint and headline during November is that during this time of giving thanks for the immaterial goods in life, corporate America sees a cash cow. Corporate America makes its biggest sales pitch on the day of Thanksgiving forcing people to work and tearing loved ones on such a joyous occasion when we should really be enjoying each others company. How dare they! Each year, people are outraged by how companies force people to work these long hours, and during a holiday no less.
The fact of the matter is this is what Americans want. Every single business in the world runs on profits and tailors each decision to maximize them. Yearly, when Best Buy or Target opens at 10pm or 8pm on Thanksgiving and people cry “why are they making people work these horrendous hours?!” it’s because they are making money. It’s because everyone is still shopping during those hours. Why would a company suffer staff and maintenance costs on a national holiday if they weren’t making a profit? They wouldn’t.
Last year I worked a 15-hour shift starting at 10pm on Thanksgiving Day at Best Buy and let me tell you, people show up in hordes. It was my first year working Black Friday in retail and the number of people that showed up was astounding. I knew that people went nuts shopping on Black Friday but I never expected people to be shopping Thanksgiving night. On a day set aside for giving thanks for the immaterial things in life, Americans somehow manage to do the exact opposite and show the world how much we are enamored by our iPods, iPads and TVs.
It’s because of people who shop on Thanksgiving night or are waiting outside the doors at 7pm Thanksgiving Day (yes, there are people like this) that companies choose to open earlier and earlier every year. That’s why I absolutely detest those people who complain or talk about how greedy corporate America is to force people to work on a holiday because many of these people are, most likely, going shopping the very next day (if not late, late Thanksgiving night).
It’s ridiculously hypocritical to condemn businesses for making a profit on something that you avidly promote through blatant and massive over consumption of material goods. If people were as opposed to these practices in action as they are in voicing their opposition, there wouldn’t be stampedes at every Wal-Mart, every year.

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Shoppers to blame for holiday rush