Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Black Friday injustice

Today's guest commentary comes from Mariya Ryaskova, who is an avid retail shopper turned avid champion of retail workers.

In the past few years, most merchandisers have opened up for sales in the earliest hours of the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year, though, some major retailers changed their opening times. Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy and Toys ‘R’ Us opened up for sale between 9PM and 10PM on the evening of Thanksgiving.

Of course, for some consumers, this was great news. However, a number of people are outraged with these “greedy” retailers as workers had much less time to spend with their families during one of the most sacred holidays in the US. Is this fair? Absolutely not! In fact, 200,000 people recently signed a viral petition to Target on change.org protesting the earlier opening times, claiming that a full Thanksgiving holiday is not only for the “elite of this nation.”

Personally speaking, I’m a girly girl who loves shopping, and sales are an essential part of my existence. Yet, I still support the consumers who found these opening hours inappropriate. Consider the “Occupy Wall Street” protests, which indicate just how fed up Americans actually are with corporate greed.

Maybe some retailers decided to open up earlier because they want to stay competitive. But they must not forget the strength of the voice of average Americans, who weren’t heard until the “Occupy” protests took a very influential turn. Today, this voice is stronger than ever and can easily turn against retailers who ignored it. Banks are learning their lesson now. Are retailers next?

Mariya Ryaskova was born in Kazakhstan, grew up in Russia, and has lived in the UK for the past 8 years. She is following her dream of becoming a true PR specialist with the help of NYU.


Anonymous said...

Wait a minute? Are retailers driving this train or the consumers? Many would argue that earlier and earlier start times for Black Friday are a response to shopaholics who would rather wrestle in the mud for an LCD TV and push parsnips around their plate at the family dinner. Don't Americans really get what they ask for? Or are they really sheep who are being manipulated into wanting something they really DON'T want?

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