Retail Grinches Are Cutting Thanksgiving Short

News flash, retailers: There's a reason that mosh pit of rock-bottom deals and rampant consumerism is called Black Friday -- it occurs on Friday.

That scheduling detail is being ignored by major merchants this season. In a desperate retail free-for-all bid for consumers' holiday shopping budgets, stores are jumping the gun by adjusting their store hours to get Black Friday going early.

Is Thursday the New Black Friday?

Given current economic troubles in the U.S., retailers know it may be a tough slog to get consumers to spend money at their establishments. So they're doing more than price-slashing to drum up enthusiasm. They're tempting shoppers away from the Thanksgiving feast with pre-door-buster door-buster deals.

Although technically sticking to tradition, Target (TGT) is set to open at midnight. Officially, that is Friday, unless you're an employee who has to be there hours early to prepare. Other Grinches stomping on Thanksgiving are Kohl's (KSS), Best Buy (BBY), and Macy's (M), all of which are opening at midnight as well.

Then there's Walmart (WMT).

Walmart has announced it plans to start devouring Thanksgiving by opening its doors at 10 p.m. on Thursday. Now Toys R Us is attempting to one-up Walmart: Doors open at 9 p.m. Next thing you know, some desperate retailer's going to announce they're opening exactly at dinnertime. (Sears and Kmart, perhaps? Just kidding. Let's hope they're not thinking of skipping turkey to head into work.)

Here's a Doggie Bag for Your Turkey Dinner

Beyond perfectly common-sense arguments against a retail push into Thanksgiving Day (friends shouldn't let friends shop when they're doped up on tryptophan or have imbibed a little too much holiday cheer), there's another really sobering reason we should give all the rampant consumerism a break. These retailers' workers are virtually guaranteed to have their Thanksgiving celebrations cut short, maybe even ruined, by Black Friday's unfashionably early arrival.

Yes, some consumers will relish an excuse to duck out of Turkey Day's often satirized dysfunctional family functions. Still, retailers shouldn't be giving consumers that easy out -- or yet another day to put consumerism ahead of things that really matter, like family, togetherness, and appreciating the blessings we do have, even in these tough times. Look, retailers: The sales can wait just a few more hours.

Motley Fool analyst Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Best Buy and Wal-Mart Stores. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Wal-Mart Stores, writing covered calls in Best Buy, and creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart Stores.

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vondeck

People shouldn't shop on Thanksgiving then stores won't open next year on Thanksgiving. But people will shop and stores will be open all Thanksgiving day. Greed Greed Greed

November 23 2011 at 5:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wilster008

I don't shop on black Friday and certainly won't be buying anything on Thanksgiving Day. If people stay away in large numbers, the insanity will stop.

November 23 2011 at 9:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lchap17156

People only have so much to spend and the doorbuster savings apply to items that are often limited and will sell out anyway. When do people get to actually have a holiday. I would hope no one would shop on Thanksgiving to send a message for the future. I also know I'm crazy to even hope this will happen.

November 23 2011 at 9:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
netexas121

We are all thinking and I'm just saying and hopefully it won't happen. This is going to be a violent year for Black Thursday/Friday and those trying to shop on line will be forced to reckon with servers dropping.

November 22 2011 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff

Possible solution, a law that says retailers can not start Black Friday (discounted special items) until 6am on Friday. Everyone should want that, including the retailers. They will save money on labor, employees can have a nice holiday and knowone has to worry about their rivals. Heck, we have laws for everything else.

November 22 2011 at 2:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jeff's comment
shariw1007

That sounds like a great solution to me! Let's just make it the LAW!!!

November 23 2011 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
janswizz

Some people are just addicted to spending money no matter who supplies it, look at congress.

November 22 2011 at 10:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
OZARK AIRBRUSH

Greedy and inconsiderate retailers! Let your employees have some family time on Thanksgiving and then go to work on FRIDAY ...and I don't mean midnight. ... 5 am on Friday would work. Then open at 7am. That's plenty early!

November 22 2011 at 1:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to OZARK AIRBRUSH's comment
janswizz

I guess you have no clue how retail works. Usually the night crew is responsible for prepping the stores for the morning opening. Yes the retailers are their to turn a profit for their shareholders.

November 22 2011 at 10:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gbella2010

when i used to make a big thankgiving for my family which i might add i did all by myself, the last thing i wanted to do is go to work. i now am by myself my husband passed 5 years ago and my 3 children have all gone thier seprate ways, and i still dont want to go at 10 at night because i feel for the mothers and grandmothers and anyone else that has to spend all day cooking. let them enjoy thier holiday. the all mighty dollar always has to come first, i realize we are in a bad place right now but god man why dont you make the sales start later and end later?????? you will make the same amount of money and the workers will be in better spirits and will probably sell more products for you with a good nights rest. GOD BLESS ALL THOSE WHO HAVE TO WORK THANKSGIVING !!!!!!!!!!!

November 22 2011 at 1:41 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
chivasprietos

That's like our running of the bulls! People get stampede on all over the country! I rather pay full price and enjoy left over turkey!

November 22 2011 at 12:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
phpoling

AT least some stores are open on Thanksgiving have less to few people anyway since some of us have to work on Black Friday anyway

November 22 2011 at 12:33 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply