Major brands - from Walmart to Kmart to Sears to Old Navy, to name but a few, will be open for business on Thanksgiving night. As if that's not bad enough, one major department store is running a commercial which features someone stealing something out of another person's shopping cart.
Look, I get it... I really do. I'm in advertising and marketing and have been for over 20 years, so I know all about the need to move merchandise/make money, and if people are willing to shop, far be it for a retailer to not oblige them. If a retailer wants to open its doors on Thanksgiving night, so be it.
But have we reached a point where nothing is sacred anymore? Is there any day that is off limits when it comes to consumers spending money in a bricks and mortar location? Obviously in today's digital world, consumers can go online and shop anytime they damn well want to. However, they cannot of course get the instantaneous satisfaction of handing over their money and receiving a physical item in exchange. If you order online, you must then wait. And when it comes to the holidays and shopping, some of us don't exactly have an over abundance of patience.
Sure we will do plenty of shopping online this holiday season but give us a chance to get in our cars and drive to a mall and spend the next X number of hours fighting through crowds as we listen to piped in holiday music... hell yeah, many of us will jump at the chance.
But does that make it right?
Like I said earlier, I understand it from the retailers' perspective but Thanksgiving night? Really? What, opening at 3AM on Black Friday - or even earlier, wasn't good enough?
Maybe I'm feeling this way because I used to work in retail (supermarket) many moons ago. So I know of the plight of the retail worker when it comes to the holidays and drawing the short straw and having to work while others are at home with their families.
Or maybe it's because I'm an emotional guy who thinks everyone deserves at least one day they can spend with their family and friends; where no one needs to man a register or stock a shelf.
Are those days over for good?
It just seems like the whole Black Friday phenomenon is now rolling into one continuous shop-a-palozza with a brief respite being provided on Thanksgiving itself to allow for consumers and workers alike a few hours to stop and eat, watch a little football and then right back to battleground.
And someone has to help me with this one... Yesterday I saw a commercial for Sears promoting their "Day After Thanksgiving Sale" which they pointed out was happening on Friday, AKA the day after Thanksgiving. Now are we collectively that devoid of logic that we needed a reminder that the "Day After Thanksgiving Sale" was indeed happening... the day after Thanksgiving. Or, did Sears and their ad agency feel the need to inform us that this was NOT a Thanksgiving Day Sale but rather a "Day After Thanksgiving Sale?" You know, just so there was no confusion...
Black Friday Pilfering..
As for the aforementioned major department store and the ad they're currently running which features out and out theft... watch it for yourself.
Did you see it? Go back and look what the woman does at the :14 mark...
So not only does this commercial feature one of the worst jingles in history, in my humble opinion, but out and out puts stealing front and center.
Oh sure, the spot is intended - at least I assume it is - to be evoke warm holiday feelings. But to show someone literally taking something from someone else, on Black Friday of all days when tensions run exceedingly high, just makes no sense to me.
What do you think the reaction will be if someone tries this on Black Friday?
Customer #1: Hey, you just took something right out of my cart!
Customer #2: It's ok, that's how they do it at Kohl's! Happy Thanksgiving!
Customer #1: Oh no you didn't...
Cue the store security, police, etc...
What were they thinking showing this in their commercial?
Someone please help me understand... Anyone. Bueller?