Editorial: Follow your heart, not pundits, on Thanksgiving shopping

Nov. 25, 2013 @ 11:22 PM

As many pundits get on their soap box about businesses opening on Thanksgiving and the damage and moral decay it's sure to cause, others are looking differently at the decision by several national stores to extend the holiday shopping creep into Thanksgiving Day.

While the stores themselves say they're just meeting shoppers' demands, Yahoo! Finance sees things another way.

"(Shopper demand is) part of it, no doubt, but an examination of retailers’ financial numbers reveals another reason: Many of them are underperforming and desperate for every dollar of sales," Rick Newman wrote in The Exchange, his Yahoo! Finance blog. "And virtually all those stores will be open on Thanksgiving."

So apparently the move to open on Thanksgiving isn't so much a move of greed, but rather a move of desperation.

B.J.'s Wholesale, Costco, Nordstrom and P.C. Richard, businesses all doing well this year according to the numbers, will all be closed on Thursday.

In the meantime, Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Kmart and Sears, all of which are struggling somewhat, will be open.

Sure, there are probably some businesses that are doing fine financially that will choose to open Thanksgiving just to keep up with the Joneses.

But there are others that are opening in an attempt to just keep the doors open.

In a perfect world, would employees be slated to work away from their families on the holidays? No. But in an economy where many retailers are scratching and fighting to stay profitable — sometimes imperfect solutions are necessary.

When it comes to actually shopping on Thanksgiving, follow your own conscience. 

If you believe workers should not be asked to spend time away from their families, don't shop. If you enjoy seeking out bargains and have already completed any prerequisite family activities by the time stores open, go for it. The businesses struggling to get by, and the employees who need the jobs they provide, will appreciate it.