CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

November 29, 2013

Black Friday 2013: To Shop or Not to Shop


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 BLACK FRIDAY 2013: TO SHOP OR NOT TO SHOP

Heroes come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, in all kinds of situations.

From a Pizza Hut Official Statement: This was clearly an unfortunate situation…

Manager Tony Rohr balked at opening the Pizza Hut on Thanksgiving.

In fact, he did more than balk. The 10-yrear employee refused to open the Indiana franchise where he was manager. He didn’t want to force his staff to work on this family holiday.

He was asked to write a letter of resignation.

He took responsibility for his decision in a letter explaining his actions, according to what he told CNN affiliate WSBT:

“I said, ‘Why can’t we be the company that stands up and says we care about your employees and you can have the day off?’ Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only two days that they’re closed in the whole year. And they’re the only two days that those people are guaranteed to have off to spend with their families.” Who wants to work on Thanksgiving?

Rohr said he refused to quit and detailed his frustration in the letter.

“I accept that the refusal to comply with this greedy, immoral request means the end of my tenure with this company. I hope you realize that it is the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible.”

He said he was fired shortly after.

The Pizza Hut Official Statement continued: …and we are very upset by what has transpired in Elkhart, Indiana. While the choice as to whether a restaurant should be open or closed on a holiday is handled at the local level by our independent franchisees, we feel strongly that this situation could have been avoided. We respect an employee’s decision not to work on a holiday if they so choose, which is why the vast majority of Pizza Huts in America are closed on Thanksgiving. The stores that are open to service their local communities are staffed by team members with the willingness to work on this day as determined by their own personal situations. We will monitor and evaluate this situation closely and regret what has occurred.

“As a result, we strongly recommended that the local franchisee reinstate the store manager and they have agreed.”

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If Rohr lived in Rhode Island, Maine, or Massachusetts, this situation would never have occurred due to the legacy of so-called “blue laws,” which prohibit large supermarkets, big box stores and department stores from opening on Thanksgiving. Some business groups complain, but many shoppers, workers and even retailers say they’re satisfied with a one-day reprieve from work and holiday shopping.

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“Black Friday is the traditional kickoff for the holiday shopping season, but this year Target started its ‘Black Friday Now’ campaign and Wal-Mart followed,” Duquesne University marketing professor Audrey Guskey said. Tuesday.

Yes, I recall half-heartedly hearing ‘Black Friday Now’ ads on TV.

I couldn’t help but see media—print, TV, electronic—hype enticing shoppers out not only for Black Friday, but for a week or more prior to Black Friday.

As far as I’m concerned it’s all hype. My sister, who works for a major department store, confirmed this when she said it is more economical to shop during the year at regular store sales.

Furthermore, I can think of nothing worse than waiting in a line for 2 to 6 hours or more to be one of the lucky persons to part with a large number of dollars to purchase a gift that is obsolete before I finish paying for it. After all, Only a tiny percentage of Black Friday shoppers end up with the most desirable deals from retailers…

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Through the years I’ve managed to avoid Black Friday shopping. I’ve turned the day into Fun Friday. When my children were small we made Christmas cookies. Now that I’m a grandmother my son, daughter-in-law, and two grandsons are here. It’s an opportunity to share family time.

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FYI: On Thanksgiving Day in Southwestern Pennsylvania, according to the ads in my local newspaper, K-Mart opened at 6:00 a. m.; Toys R Us opened at 5:00 p. m.; Walmart opened at 6:00 p. m., and a bunch of stores opened at 8:00 p. m.

Many people argue against stores opening on Thanksgiving Day. I must side with them. This is a family holiday and one shouldn’t have to choose between working and being with family.

Those of us who dislike stores being open on Thanksgiving should not shop. After all, the market will decide between the following options:

  • If they open and become ghost towns, they won’t open on Thanksgiving in the future
  • If they open and have crowds shopping they will become a staple of American life.

The market will decide.

I read somewhere that Walmart suggested shoppers have a ‘Thanksgiving Tailgate Party’ and throw the Thanksgiving dinner into the minivan, eat in one of their beautiful spacious parking lots, and assure yourself you are the first in line to buy early bird specials! Cigarette lighters can be used to warm up small portions and food stored on an idling engine in aluminum foil will keep Grandma’s sweet potatoes yummy!”

FYI: Black Friday — named that because it puts retailers “in the black” — has become more intense as companies compete for customers in a weak economy, said Jacob Jacoby, an expert on consumer behavior at New York University.

From Kiss Black Friday Goodby:  I like to think the fact that consumers are being conservative in their spending and more conscious of their purchases (indicates that) maybe people are getting back to what Christmas should be about — celebrating the birth of the Lord with your family.

I’m left with a question concerning Black Friday’s creep into Thanksgiving Day: Does it mean Santa will be expected to leave his very important task of preparing toys for the world’s children in order to meet those very same children in a shopping mall?

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Yes, I see Rohr as a quiet hero who wouldn’t compromise his principles to keep his job. Tat takes real courage.

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ADDITIONAL READING:

Winning Approach to Black Friday Shopping 11/22/2012

Thanksgiving 2012

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1 Comment »

  1. That manager deserves a Medal of Honor for his courage and convictions. Like you, we have never shopped on Black Friday, either in a store or on-line.. Just the thought of the chaos sends shivers down my spine, and we would never dream of hosting Thanksgiving dinner in a Wal-Mart parking lot. (Just out of curiosity, do you suppose Wal-Mart would allow people to fry their turkeys while tailgating?) Everything and everyone we need was right her under our roof on Thanksgiving.

    Comment by Pam — December 4, 2013 @ 2:43 pm | Reply


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