Black Friday backlash causes stores to rethink early openings, giving workers time with family

Some stores are facing a Black Friday backlash.

In the wake of an 11 percent drop in sales last year, businesses are changing their strategies to reach holiday shoppers. Businesses have been offering discounts all week, many are planning to give their employees the holiday off – and some are even closing on Black Friday.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and people are lining up to purchase their holiday feast. With large families the cooking can take hours, even days.

Eva Verduzco, a Costco employee, says that she is cooking a traditional Thanksgiving meal to enjoy with all of her family.

“Grandkids, great-grandkids, and great-grandkids already,” said Verduzco. “I’ve got seven of them. Fantastic.”

Some shoppers are eager to hit the stores on Thanksgiving night, but the National Retail Federation found that spending dropped about $5 billion over the four day shopping spree starting Thanksgiving Day in 2014.

So stores have found a way to make both the customers and employees happy by having early sales throughout the week and special offers online.

There are an expected 135.8 million Americans that plan to shop on Thanksgiving weekend, with half of holiday shoppers planning to finish their shopping online, according to the National Retail Federation.

Stores such as Costco, TJMaxx, Nordstrom and Sam’s Club will all be closed for Thanksgiving to let their employees spend time with their families. And REI is closing on Friday and running a campaign #OptOutside, which encourages business to close and get outside.

“It’s really nice for us to be able to take care of our employees and let them spend some time on the national holiday,” said Jennifer Welker, General Manager of Costco store #665 Phoenix. “I think our members appreciate that we do that for our employees.”

And they do.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Dan Pangallo, a Costco customer. “I commend companies that do that. It shows they are interested in their people, in my opinion.”

And for employees who get the day off, there’s one word that describes their joy.

“Fantastic,” Verduzco said.