Portland, OR, October 29, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- By now you've heard the battle cries: "I Pledge to Not Shop on Thanksgiving!" "Boycott Black Thursday!" and "Say No to Shopping on Thanksgiving!"
Millions of people across the U.S. have taken a stand on social media, asking retailers to close their doors on Thanksgiving. Employees have petitioned for the day off on sites like Change.org, turning it into a labor rights issue (https://www.change.org/p/target-stay-closed-on-thanksgiving-2).
A few major retailers, like Costco, GameStop, and DSW are standing with them. Staples changed its tune from last year, deciding to close for 2015. And REI has ramped up the stakes further by announcing it will close not only on Thanksgiving Day, but on Black Friday, giving all of its employees paid time off to go outside and do something they love. #OptOutside
But where did this Thanksgiving revolt begin? Like most social media "revolutions," with fed-up individuals who decided they care too much to let Thanksgiving become "just another day..." People like Brian Rich, a journalist from Boise, ID, who started Boycott Black Thursday, a Facebook cause page that has rallied over 130,000 fans, leading the charge (www.facebook.com/boycottblackthursday). People like Jordana Bishop of Raynham, MA, manager of a family-owned furniture store, who founded Boycott Shopping on Thanksgiving Day that puts out the Naughty vs. Nice List, asking consumers to use their holiday spending power to support "nice" businesses that close on Thanksgiving and boycott the "naughty" ones that will be open (www.facebook.com/BoycottShoppingOnThanksgivingDay). And people like Kelli Caldwell, a writer and graphic designer from Portland, OR, who created the "I Pledge to NOT SHOP on Thanksgiving" button that has become the face of the cause, shared by over 2 million people and counting all over social media. (www.facebook.com/thanksgivingpledge)
"I made the pledge button one morning, with no big agenda. I was just angry that big companies were trying to push the insanity of Black Friday onto one of the last holidays we have dedicated to family time—and I wanted to say it out loud. I was on bed rest, trying in-vitro to get pregnant (now I have twins!) and I watched over the next few days as my friends shared my button and their friends shared it and then people made it their profile picture so on... I couldn't believe how quickly it spread," says Caldwell. "But it restored my faith, because ultimately the responsibility belongs to individuals who choose to show up and shop... or not."
"This is not about protecting the right to stuff our faces with turkey. It's about standing up for traditions that play an important role in family bonding, child development, and well, keeping a society sane. If we let greed drive, greed will destroy things that we just can't put a price on, like time with family," as one post on Reason for the Season (home of the pledge button) says (www.facebook.com/thanksgivingpledge).
"If we don't stop this trend..." says Jordana Bishop, "It will creep into Christmas Day. Stores are already staying open later and later on Christmas Eve."
But many critics ask: "What about people who have always had to work on holidays to keep society running? Why focus on retail?" The answer is in another graphic that simply states: "Need vs. Greed. Firefighters, Police, Military, and Medical Personnel sacrifice by working on holidays for Need and we are thankful for everything they do. The only purpose for retailers being open on Thanksgiving is greed."
Who seems to care most about stopping the shopping frenzy on Thanksgiving? Apparently, women. According to Reason for the Season's recent page stats: Over 80% of the page fans and people engaged are women.
According to BestBlackFriday.com's 2015 Holiday Shopping Survey (http://www.bestblackfriday.com/blog/black-friday-2015-and-holiday-shopping-survey?):
• 47% of shoppers believe stores should close on Thanksgiving;
• 34% who believe stores should open on Thanksgiving, 57% are men and 53% are ages 18-24;
• Only 16% believe Thanksgiving has better deals than Black Friday or Cyber Monday;
• 79% dislike the Black Friday research and shopping process.
Still retailers will open and people say they will shop on Thanksgiving. Many thought social media complainers would be steamrolled by major retailers that just look at the numbers. But so far, just this week, Reason for the Season's page has engaged over 14 million people in conversation on whether or not retailers should be open or closed on Thanksgiving.
Reason for the Season is the site of the original "I Pledge to NOT SHOP on Thanksgiving" button that started a national conversation. Return to reason for the holiday season. Everyone deserves a holiday.
More images available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/137395359@N03/shares/7G49cE
Kelli Caldwell - Reason for the Season
Portland, OR USA
Jordana Bishop - Boycott Shopping on Thanksgiving Day
Brian Rich - Boycott Black Thursday
Boise, ID USA