Esme’s Blog: Blue Law For Thanksgiving?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After all the fuss about Target and other retailers opening early on Thanksgiving, after all the hype about the backlash, the only conclusion that can be drawn the day after is that if stores open with deals, shoppers will come.

They came, they stood in line, they shoved, in one case in California used pepper spray, all in the name of a good deal. In the video from around the country, there seemed almost an air of desperation among shoppers. It is all the more shocking that this was no food line, this was not about the battle to secure living essentials. This was all about getting electronics at near wholesale prices.

The desperation is perhaps a sign of what we as a nation consider an essential worth fighting for. When a chance to get a really great TV at almost half off comes around on Black Friday, it is a battle royal.

So what will happen next year? Will more stores follow the lead of Toys ‘R Us and Wal-Mart and open on Thanksgiving night? I bet they do. States and local governments have the power to regulate sales. They do here in Minnesota when it comes to alcohol and car sales on Sunday.

Perhaps next year the Minnesota legislature might consider keeping Thanksgiving a true holiday and barring retailers from opening that day. That would hopefully keep the Black Friday madness down to one depraved day a year.

  • stung4ever

    “Perhaps next year the Minnesota legislature might consider keeping Thanksgiving a true holiday and barring retailers from opening that day.”

    So, if someone’s on the road and needs to stop and get some food, they’re SOL?

    • Ugh

      They are talking about BIG retailers like Target , Walmart, Best Buy, etc. If you’re really that desperate to get food on Thanksgiving Day (it would be your fault anyway), then just stop at a gas station which remain open on holidays.

      • Donna

        Years ago NO stores were open on Thanksgiving. It was a holiday!

    • Kate S

      I would love for you to show me an American that would honestly starve to death from not eating for one day.

  • Linda Smith

    I’m saddened that consumerism and greed by retailers and customers has taken over the importance of family and relationships. If the retailers opened at 5 AM Friday, there would still be shopper’s at their doors and families would be able to spend a holiday togeter without members having to go to work.

    • Consumerism is killin' holidays..

      Right on Linda.

  • MKIA

    Blue Law against blue laws!
    Life is dangerous.


    For once I agree. We do need blue laws for this. It is out of control. I really believe any form of gov getting invovled in our lives should be limited but this we need. Enough is enough. 6am on Fridays should be it.

  • richard

    I wonder if this such a big deal or not. I thought the stores opened at midnight . Is that not after Thsnksgiving? If so what’s the problem? Also, I heard the guy from Target who initiated the petition was not even scheduled to work that shift…TRUE???? Again, if so, what’s his problem??? If we don’t want to shop at mid-night, don’t! One last thought, mid-night sales give people who are otherwise working 1st shift (most of us) a better shot at getting the best sale price.

  • Buzz Allnight

    Black Friday should not just be for morning people!!!!!!!!!
    NOON on Friday!!!!!!!!!!

  • KLS

    The shoppers on Thanksgiving observe the true spirit by spending money and assuring that the jobs of the people who manufacture goods and the people who sell said goods keep their jobs and maybe even hire more people for the holidays.

  • Jim G

    I agree a blue law is needed. The big corporate retailers are making a mockery out of Thanksgiving, the holiday that is supposed to be about being THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE. Instead it’s turned into the holiday to get all the material things you and your family don’t have. Even if you don’t need it, its too good a deal to pass up. This isn’t about meeting customer demand as the retailers claim. Who really wants to go shopping in the middle of the night? This is a case of the tail (big corporations) wagging the dog (consumers).

  • Murph

    SHOWS that people facing a raw deal from the GOP are looking hard for a GOOD deal.Not a good sign for GOP POTUS candidates! The economy still sucks and we know it.Where are the jobs they squealed and then prevented them frrom materializing.Their magic show is losing traction with every hour of every day.FAUX,Kudlow, and all the vaudevillians in the world are not going to put them over the top! If I WAS president the Congress would be dissolved,martial law declared and they would face the fate of caught sabotuers everywhere.Luckily for them the President is neither as wicked or angry as I am! Madam gullotine is too good for them.Waterboarding and fingernail pulling would be more my style!This WILL NOT BE,the UNUNITED States of Norquist! We will all revolt enmasse ,and soon,if that nightmare becomes a reality as it is quickly becoming.Dissolve Congress now Mr. President,they have failed miserably and need IMMEDIATE replacement!

  • Kenneth Sachs

    In the Chicago area for years supermarkets were open Thanksgiving until about 3 PM opening around 7 or 8 AM. Although liquor stores can iopen that day from 7AM to 2 AM on Thanksgiving in Chicago [city], nearly all close by 2 or 3 PM.. Years ago at Armantti;s main store on N Western Ave my brother and I would see at least 100 people lined up at 4 registers to buy wine for dinner that day. Those stores should be able to open here, but those that do will probably close early.

  • Tony Rozycki

    I heard on the radio, probably CCO, there was a major scramble for Yoga Pants at Victoria’s Secret. It made me wonder what they are?

  • Exp

    If you dangle a big enough carrot in front of people, they will start slathering over it. Black Friday is a prime example. As long as people are willing to subject themselves to such, then the companies will continue to provide them with their proverbial “fix” of their favorite type of drug: the bargain.

    The ones I feel sorry for are the employees that are forced to choose between time with their family on a National Holiday and getting fired or going to work as their employers demand. The ones that say “they chose that job” is either well off enough to not have to worry about such things as a steady job, or an employer trying to take advantage of their employees. Sometimes both.

  • kathy

    I work at a Target store. Yes, we opened at midnight but many of our associates had to be to work on Thursday afternoon @4pm to unload the merchandise trailer that was delivered. Corporate Target doesn’t mention those unfortunate people, they only focus on the associates coming in @ midnight in all their press releases. Nobody thinks about the people behind the scenes and the crazy hours they have to work.

  • Frankie

    There are plenty of careers that work on Thanksgiving and get very little thanks for doing so. If you do not understand the nature of the hours of work when you start a job, you will learn to ask on the next one. There should not be blue laws.

  • Citizen

    Yes, Blue Laws should be enacted to protect Thanksgiving which is an important holiday now lost between the partying of Halloween and the greed of Christmas. Blue laws prohibiting liquor and car sales are not a big deal. If you can’t plan ahead to buy that bottle of booze, well, I have no sympathy for you. Consumers actually like having car dealerships closed so they can browse the cars in peace from aggressive salespeople. @Kathy. I have friend who works at Target on the flow team and she worked back-to-back shifts on Thanksgiving, so I know what the stores expect.

  • Blue Holidays up North

    Hospitals and nursing homes never close their doors for holidays.
    They are hoping people remember their loved ones inside and come in to say hello and I love you.

  • josie

    With the economy so bad and millions of American citizens out of work,WHO IS SHOPPING AND WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM?

  • Red

    I cannot believe you people. If you don’t want to shop don’t. Obviously with record crowds reported at stores people want them open. If nobody went the stores would not be open. Let the market work, business makes decisions on profits and if they think its in the best interest of the store to be open, they will.

    • Citizen

      @Red. Why do we as a country even bother declaring national holidays if they get in the way of consumer spending? The truth is, the holidays DO NOT get in the way of consumer spending–they actually drive consumer spending. If people don’t get time off, they don’t have time to shop. Remember employees of these stores are also shoppers and customers. Business decisions should not just be made on profits. Is it profitable for stores to be open 24/7? If so, let’s just drop the pretense of having any national holidays and throw open the floodgates and let the stores be open 24/7 including the liquor stores and car dealers–why should they bear the brunt of closures? Surely, someone needs a bottle of booze somewhere at 1 a.m.

  • cosmo

    I think wcco should start pepper spraying the goofballs who stad outside their camera window and wave like their from the back 40.

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