As I mentioned last week in “Thursday is the New Black?” a large group of retailers have decided to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. By extending the shopping season by another day, there are high hopes to increase revenue following disappointing Black Friday sales in 2012.
Despite the bandwagons of stores opening up on turkey Thursday, a number of their key competitors have chosen to remain shut, while using this tactic in a strong PR play.
As we know social media is a powerful, yet dangerous tool. With many consumers and employees upset over the decision to open up on Thanksgiving Thursday, a series of social media campaigns contesting the choice have gone viral. Many consumers have chosen to show their outrage, posting complaints on companies Facebook pages, starting long chains of angry messages and using twitter as a vehicle to try and get their message across. Online petitions have also been setup, arguing that the choice by retailers has disrupted quality time with loved ones, spoiling the true essence of the holiday. Despite various incentives, like triple wages, employees have protested as well. With brand loyalty more important than ever,it will be interesting to see the affect this will have in the long term.
Those that have chosen to remain shut, have been able to hit to the media as this holiday’s heroes. With such messages that their employees deserve the time off, and that they will not conform to the trend. Retailers who have decided to open have even gone as far to say that it will give employees a chance to earn some extra money for the holidays. It will be interesting to see post Black Friday results and which tactic ultimately paid off. If remaining closed turns out to be the wrong decision will the good retailers in this instance change their tunes in years to come?
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