FLINT TWP. — J.C. Penney plans to open its doors at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, a day activists say should be reserved for relaxation and togetherness, where families can enjoy each others company without stressing about leaving dinner to go to work, according to a press release.
More than 43,000 signatures opposing Penney’s opening time have been gathered on a Care2petition that can be viewed and signed at www.thepetitionsite.com/238/545/076/
“Thanksgiving is one of the few days per year when we are all given an opportunity to pause our busy lives and enjoy the company of our family and friends; unfortunately, this opportunity will not be extended to J.C. Penney employees,” said Chris Wolverton, author of a petition filed with CARE2, opposing the store hours.
“Last year, despite stores opening early on Thanksgiving, sales dropped 11 percent. JCPenney can afford to give its employees the night off, and its public image will be bolstered by demonstrating it values employees’ relaxation and personal time,” said Wolverton in a Care2 statement.
In recent years, many stores have been opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day in order to seize the Black Friday rush, facing employees “with the difficult dilemma of spending time with their families or turning down extra cash and the opportunity to impress their boss,” Wolverton stated.
Last year, J.C. Penney attempted to one-up the competition by opening at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, while competitors like Macy’s, Target, Kohl’s, and Sears kicked off their Black Friday sales an hour later at 6 p.m. — the same time they plan to open this year.
Yet some stores have already decided to give employees the day off. At least 25 other retailers have announced they will stay closed on Thanksgiving, including Burlington Coat Factory, Menard’s Staples, Gamestop, T.J. Maxx, Costco, Nordstrom, Sam’s Club and Home Depot.
Genesee Valley Center mall also has announced that it will be closed on Thanksgiving Day but some anchor stores will open.
Other big box stores that will be open on Thanksgiving Day include 24-hour Wal-Mart and Meijer stores, Kmart, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Old Navy, Five Below, Michael’s and Dollar General, according to the web site www.theblackfriday.com/stores-opening-on-thanksgiving. php. Confirm opening times by checking newspaper ads or the web sites of local stores.
With a mission to “make the world a better place,” Care2 was founded in 1998 and is a highly-engaged social network of 30 million citizen activists starting petitions and supporting each other’s campaigns with local, national and international impact. — R.S.