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Boycott These 13 Chains Keeping Employees Away from Their Families on Thanksgiving

Normally, Americans feast on Thanksgiving Day, and corporations have their feast on Black Friday. But these 13 chains are gobbling up employees’ family time.

This of course doesn’t mean that Black Friday isn’t a brutal, unnecessary tradition that’s killed seven people and injured another 98 since 2006, or that better deals aren’t already available throughout the year. But below is a handy list of 13 national chain stores that are beginning Black Friday sales on a day when employees should be at home, eating turkey, watching football and/or the Thanksgiving classic movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and having uncomfortable political conversations with distant relatives.

1. Walmart (open at 6 AM on Thanksgiving Day)

America’s most-loathed chain store is usually open 24 hours a day, but the king of low wages will begin its Black Friday sales at 6 PM on Thanksgiving Day. If you want an alternative grocery store giving employees Thanksgiving Day off, try BJ’s Wholesale Club, Costco, or Publix.

2. Kmart (Black Friday sales begin at 7 PM Thanksgiving Day)

According to this list, Kmart will be calling employees in to manage angry lines of frantic people beginning at 7 PM on Thanksgiving Day. If you want to get similar items at a store giving its workers the day off, try TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. Because, as Rain Man said, “Kmart sucks.”

3. Dollar General (opens at 7 AM on Thanksgiving Day)

Dollar General is, according to Glassdoor, an employer all too happy to overwork and underpay their employees. This apparently continues on Thanksgiving Day, as the discount store will open its doors at the ungodly hour of 7 AM. To get cheap goods from a store not open on Thanksgiving, try Marshall’s.

4. JCPenney (opens at 3 PM on Thanksgiving Day)

The Texas-based clothing chain will be hauling in employees away from the dinner table to open stores at 3 PM on Thanksgiving, according to CNBC. Shop at TJ Maxx, Nordstrom, or Burlington Coat Factory instead. Speaking of forgettable mall-based clothing chains to boycott…

5. Belk (opening at 4 PM on Thanksgiving Day)

Right around the time the 9-1 Dallas Cowboys and the football team from Washington, DC are kicking off, Belk employees will be selling subpar clothes to scrambling customers. As mentioned in the previous section, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom, and Burlington Coat Factory all give employees the day off on Thanksgiving, so shop there instead.

6. Best Buy (opens at 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day)

Best Buy is notorious for long Black Friday campout lines, and are now encroaching on Thanksgiving Day by opening its doors nationwide at 5 PM. If you want to buy electronics from a store that respects employees’ family time, try Gamestop or HH Gregg.

7. Toys R Us (opens at 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day)

Kids hoping for new toys and games from Santa don’t care if his sleigh stocks up at a store that’s decent enough to close on a national holiday. Get them some books and music from Barnes & Noble, video games and consoles from Gamestop, or instruments from Guitar Center if they’re the musical type.

8. Bon-Ton (opens at 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day)

Bon-Ton employees will have to excuse themselves from the table in enough time to open doors and usher in crowds of shoppers on Thanksgiving, so buy your clothes, home goods, and trinkets from alternatives like Jo Ann Fabrics, Pier One, Burlington Coat Factory, and TJ Maxx instead.

9. Macy’s (opens at 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day)

Macy’s stores in Hawaii, Arizona, New Jersey, and Delaware will be opening their doors at 5 PM on turkey day to begin the Black Friday madness. Give your business to Dillard’s, Marshall’s, Nordstrom, Burlington Coat Factory, TJ Maxx, Neiman Marcus, and DSW shoes instead.

10. Sears (opens at 6 PM on Thanksgiving Day)

Right around the time the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts kick off their game, Sears workers will be called in to make early Black Friday profits for their employer at 6 PM. Boycott them and go to Burlington Coat Factory, HH Gregg, Home Depot, Home Goods, Marshall’s, Jo Ann Fabric, Pier One, Ikea, or Bed Bath & Beyond instead.

11. Target (opens at 6 PM on Thanksgiving Day)

Target was one of the first large national chains to catch on to the idea of extending Black Friday into Thursday, calling in employees to work around the same time most families will be drinking after-dinner wine or coffee at the table. Other clothing/home/electronic stores giving their employees the day off include TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Pier One, Burlington Coat Factory, Nordstrom, and HH Gregg.

12. Kohl’s (opens at 6 PM on Thanksgiving Day)

Kohl’s, which is a favorite of deplorable Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, is making their employees choose work over family tomorrow. Deny them your business and buy your low-cost clothing from Burlington Coat Factory, TJ Maxx, and Marshall’s.

13. Dick’s Sporting Goods (opens at 6 PM on Thanksgiving Day)

Employees at the sporting goods chain will be swiping goods across scanners at 6 PM, when most other families are considering whether or not to have apple or pumpkin pie (pumpkin, obviously). But most of what could be found at Dick’s can also be found at stores giving workers the day off, like Cabela’s, Patagonia (which is donating all of its Black Friday proceeds to environmental groups), Sierra Trading Post, and Sportsman’s Warehouse.


Regardless of whether or not you choose to participate in the Black Friday feeding frenzy, there are plenty of alternatives to these stores. Click here to see all of the stores closed tomorrow.


Zach Cartwright is an activist and author from Richmond, Virginia. He enjoys writing about politics, government, and the media. Send him an email at [email protected], and follow his work on the Public Banking Institute blog

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