Employees not giving thanks for required holiday workday

Shoe Carnival on Cox Creek Parkway will be open Thanksgiving evening, but Jo-Ann Fabrics and Craft Store will close its doors to allow employees to spend the holiday with their families.  Many retailers have opted to begin holiday sales on Thanksgiving rather than wait until the traditional Black Friday.

By News Editor Anna Brown

Ready or not, the holiday shopping season has begun. Shoppers can begin fighting the crowds searching for those special deals as early as 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Traditionally, stores opened their doors early Friday after Thanksgiving to start Christmas sales. Business owners soon discovered if they reduced prices, more people would shop.

When business owners documented their sales losses and gains on pen and paper, accountants marked all sales gains in black ink and losses in red ink. Therefore, the Friday after Thanksgiving earned the name “Black Friday” because of the huge increase in profit from the sales and increase of shoppers.

Some retail employees do not like the idea of working on holidays.

“I wish (businesses) would say, ‘we’re going to take Thanksgiving and Christmas and be closed the whole day,’” said Victoria’s Secret manager Marcie Linley.

Several national retail stores in Florence will open at 3 p.m. or later Thanksgiving night and stay open all night, according to theblackfriday.com.

While many people enjoy shopping on Thanksgiving, there are some who dislike the idea of making retail workers leave their families on Thanksgiving.

“I don’t really dread (Black Friday), I just wish that they would take into consideration people’s families and stuff,” Linley said.

Senior Haley Fields works at Kohl’s and survived her first Black Friday retail day last year, she said.

“It does get kind of crazy,” Fields said. “I haven’t seen anything happen at Kohl’s while I’ve been there. I understand that it’s fun and stuff, but I don’t really see the point of getting that aggressive over something you want to buy.”

Last year, a line wrapped around the entire store, she said. The store stayed open all night and into the next day.

“Last year I opened, so I got there at 5 p.m. Then, I left at like one or two in the morning,” she said.

National retailers in Florence, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, J.C. Penney Co. and Walgreens, will open their doors on Thanksgiving Day this year to kick-start the Christmas shopping spree.

The Florence Mall on Cox Creek Parkway will open at 6 p.m. Thursday for sales, according to store management. The “anchor” stores like Belk, Sears and J.C. Penney, will open their external doors earlier for sales. The mall will be open all night.

Linley said most of the other retail stores in the mall will open at 6 p.m. Thursday for Black Friday sales.

“If people really want to get the deals on Thanksgiving Day, they need to get to the stores early,” she said. “They will probably run out quickly.”

Along with many national chain department stores, some local shops are hosting Black Friday sales.

Nellie Mae boutique in Tuscumbia is having a sale, but store management said the sale is “top secret,” and they will release information closer to Thanksgiving.

However, retail stores are not the only businesses opening for Black Friday. Many fast food restaurants are opening Friday morning to feed hungry shoppers.

Chick-fil-A in the Florence Mall will open at 6 a.m. Friday morning. Other restaurants will open early, too.

Manager Andrew Johnston said he is scheduled to work from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“I loathe Black Friday,” he said. “However, it is the biggest business day of the year.”

For more information about which retailers will be open­­—or closed—Thanksgiving and Friday and where to find the best deals, visit the website blackfriday.com.