Seven Stores that Won’t Ruin Their Workers’ Thanksgivings

Adam Peck, Bryce Covert and Rebecca Leber
Think Progress / News Report
Published: Thursday 14 November 2013
While some closed stores may not be direct competitors to the big box retailers, staff also doubt some that will open, like Staples, are real contenders on the blockbuster shopping day.
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This year, more than a dozen retailers will open their doors on Thanksgiving Day, leaving millions of workers with little choice but to forgo their holiday to jumpstart the biggest shopping weekend of the year. With profits in mind, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Kmart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney, Toys R Us, and more, have announced early Thanksgiving hours.

Still, there are a handful of places — large and small, national and local — that are resisting the pressure in order to give their employees a real holiday.

“That’s one day that’s a family day,” an employee at the Charles Ro Supply Company, the country’s largest toy train store, said of its policy to remain closed on Thanksgiving Day. “Home life’s a little more important.”

Patagonia Head of Retail Marketing Vickie Achee explained the company’s decision to keep stores closed “so our associates can celebrate the holiday with their family/friends. This has been our tradition during our tenure in retail.”

Costco, Nordstrom, REI, Burlington Coat Factory, and American Girl also confirmed they’re closed on Thanksgiving.

While some closed stores may not be direct competitors to the big box retailers, staff also doubt some that will open, like Staples, are real contenders on the blockbuster shopping day.

Many companies that are opening on Thanksgiving have explained that employees are “excited” to work holiday shifts and to earn some extra pay. However, that’s rarely the full story. At Kmart, managers are reportedly denying requests for time off for Thanksgiving shifts that being at 6 a.m., even though the company claims this isn’t company policy. Meanwhile, part-time retail workers struggle with too few shifts on wages that pay well below a living wage, forcing them to work the holiday because they are already underpaid.

Even if they did have a choice, one in four workers do not receive any paid vacation time because the U.S. is alone in not mandating paid sick days, vacation, or holidays.

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ABOUT Adam Peck

Adam Peck is a Reporter/Blogger for Think Progress at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Adam grew up just outside of New York City, and attended Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism. Before joining Think Progress, Adam was an intern at Countdown with Keith Olbermann at MSNBC in New York, and at Campus Progress in Washington, D.C. He was also the founder and editor of Think Magazine, the largest collegiate news organization on Long Island. His work has appeared in The New York Times, CNN and the BBC.

ABOUT Bryce Covert

Bryce Covert is the Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress. She was previously editor of the Roosevelt Institute’s Next New Deal blog and a senior communications officer. She is also a contributor for The Nation and was previously a contributor for ForbesWoman. Her writing has appeared on The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The Nation, The Atlantic, The American Prospect, and others. She is also a board member of WAM!NYC, the New York Chapter of Women, Action & the Media.

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1 comments on "Seven Stores that Won’t Ruin Their Workers’ Thanksgivings"

William Bednarz

November 14, 2013 2:11pm

. . . black Friday. . . I PICK ONE ..OR TWO ITEMS... AND GO FOR THEM