As more companies and retailers fought for profits, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) became a controversial issue among employees working in retail. The holidays are already a stressful time for employees putting in mandatory hours for minimum wage, but when companies began demanding that its employees show up for work in the wee hours of the morning following Thanksgiving, employees were understandably upset. When companies began opening on Thanksgiving to maximize profits, the issue grew larger.
Finally, the Mall of America, one of the first to open its doors on Thanksgiving at the request of its tenants, has finally had enough. This year, they are finally reversing the policy of having employees show up for work on the holiday and have notified its tenants that the mall will be closed on Thanksgiving day, allowing employees to enjoy the day with their families. Even the movie theaters will be shut down for the first time in 24 years. The stores still have the option to open regardless, but the mall officials don’t think that they will due to the increased cost of doing so without mall personnel.
Studies have proven that opening on Thanksgiving at 6pm and staying open all night does not, in fact, boost the Black Friday sales from year to year but only spreads them out over a greater number of hours, irritating employees and taking away from the national holiday.
The mall also doesn’t believe that many other malls or companies will follow suit, but they do hope that their actions will be noticed, and hope that in time, companies will realize the value of respecting national holidays instead of exploiting them at the cost of their employees’ happiness.
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