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COVID helps push an end to a Black Friday tradition

If there is anything positive that has come out of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s the news from major retailers regarding Thanksgiving and the Black Friday holiday shopping kick off.
For years, I have complained about how Thanks-giving has turned into Thanks-buying. I have often wondered where some of these giant retailer geniuses come from or what values they have in life. But I’ve always lived my life with the presumption that Thanksgiving it about family, love and thankfulness. It’s that one day of the year where families can offer thanks together.
It has troubled me that the nation’s largest retailers opened their doors on Thanksgiving night to allow shoppers to get a jump on all the great Black Friday deals. I felt it was complete insanity.
Walmart has kept its stores open on the holiday since the late 1980s.
Within the past couple weeks, Target, Walmart, Best Buy and several other retailers announced they will close on Thanksgiving and offer some of their holiday specials earlier.
“We know this has been a trying year, and our associates have stepped up. We hope they will enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones,” said John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart.
Walmart conceded it has faced criticism in recent years that it didn’t allow workers to spend the holiday with their families.
In making the announcement, Walmart said it will spend about $428 million in total on special bonuses for employees for working through the pandemic. The new bonus marks the third time Walmart has given an additional financial reward to its workers this year.
I don’t think ceasing operations for one day is going to make too much of a difference for Walmart and other retailers who obviously are doing just fine during these unprecedented times.
While I’m not naïve enough to think the retailers listened to me gripe, it’s shameful that it took a world pandemic for them to at least act like they have their priorities in order. Understandably so, retailers are trying to mitigate crowds over the busy holiday season as COVID-19 continues to rear its ugliness across America.
Of course, I don’t think the retailers’ plans to stay open as normal would have flown in the face of public health officials. But I’ll take it as a victory for the holiday that should be focused on turkey, pumpkin pie, family and of course, football.
Thanksgiving is a day where everyone needs to be at home with their families. And that’s even more important this year.
COVID has definitely caused many people to re-evaluate and refocus their lives. Let’s just hope once the virus clears away, things will stick in a positive way.
Perhaps it’s time to go in hot pursuit of doing a little holiday shopping now that Thanksgiving won’t be a part of the shopping experience.

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