Kmart Thanksgiving Opening Sparks Online Outrage

Kmart’s plan to remain open for business all Thanksgiving day has riled up the retailer’s fans on Facebook.

Under a plan announced this week, the discount retailer will open on 6 a.m. on Nov. 28, Thanksgiving Day, and stay open to 11 p.m. on Black Friday on Nov. 29, for a total of 41 hours. While it has been customary for retailers to open Thanksgiving night, Kmart is one of the few big names that is choosing to stay open the entire holiday.

But the decision is not a popular one—at least judging from the reaction of its Facebook fans, many of whom worry about the employees who will be forced to work what has always been a traditional family holiday.

“People need to show solidarity and stop this sort of thing now before even more worker rights and benefits are eroded away,” wrote one. “15 years ago there were six retail holidays and I’ve seen them slowly disappear over the ensuing years. Working these holidays is rarely consensual, even if they are not officially mandatory and it reflects poorly on any worker that refuses to work those days.”

Wrote another: “This is a highly unpopular decision and you are going to lose many valued customers who will not come back for the rest of the year, all for the sake of one day. Besides your valuing of ‘the bottom line,’ do you not yet feel in your own hearts that Thanksgiving is a day to be with families, reflecting upon our blessings, all as one nation of Americans pausing together? Please keep your humanity and change your mind.”

The retailer responded to commenters by saying that “Kmart is staffing with volunteers and seasonal associates wherever possible. This gives associates the opportunity to make some some additional money this holiday season.”

Sister chain Sears will open its doors starting at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night and stay open through 10 p.m. on Black Friday. 

JCK News Director