Is Black Friday shopping craze carving away spirit of Thanksgiving?

Is Black Friday shopping craze carving away spirit of Thanksgiving? »Play Video
Shoppers visit Target. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Technically speaking, many think we should say goodbye to "Black Friday," as shopping madness spills into Thanksgiving. Bog box stores are opening earlier and earlier. Shoppers know this is the season for the mad dash and major deals, but some say it's gone too far.

"We've commercialized Thanksgiving so much," Maine resident, Martha Wilson said.

According to the National Retail Federation, 35 million Americans stormed retails stores and websites on Thanksgiving last year. This holiday season sales are expected to increase 3.9 percent. It seems "Black Friday" has become a holiday of its own, gobbling up Thanksgiving for shoppers. Retail employees have known for a long time, this is an important time of year.

"Most of the time we will make more in this quarter than we will in all the quarters of the year, so we need to make sure it's all hands on deck. All the staff is there," said Tim Cobbley, a retail manager.

Cobbley is a husband and father, and has worked retail for the last eight years. He explained with a job in sales, the holidays are spent more with shoppers and less with family.

"It just kind of puts a damper on the day and your whole day of spending time with family is just thinking about the stress that's going to happen in a couple hours," Cobbley said.

Employees know, and some love the retail routine, but when the stores open on Thanksgiving, the employees have to be there even earlier on the holiday.

"You know, when does it stop, kind of thing. It's 6 o'clock now but when does it get earlier than that?" Cobbley asked.

It used to be the day after Thanksgiving the alarm clock went off for early morning openings. Stores like Best Buy always opened at 5am, but then last year Best buy opened at midnight with other stores like Macy's and Kohl's. In press releases this year, they say they are opening earlier because of YOU, the customers.

This year, it seems it is all about competition. If one store is opening early, they all are. Best Buy and Walmart are opening at 6 p.m. Macy's, Kohl's, Target and JC Penney plan to open at 8 p.m.

Even though the big box stores are opening earlier, not every business owner is playing follow the leader.The owner of Idaho Mountain Touring in Boise, Chris Haunold, said he is not going to budge on his policy.

"You should give your employees the day off. There's lots and lots and lots of opportunities for people to go shopping and being closed for a day is not a big deal," Hanould said.

Haunold thinks there are more important things than a good deal.

"I think it's not good if you're scheduling your dinners and your family time around going shopping," Haunold said.

For Haunold, keeping holiday traditions is more important than cashing in on the Thanksgiving rush.

"I think you just got to do what you feel is right to do and hopefully the public, customers or client base will support you and not punish you for doing the right thing."

Bottom line, you decide if it's about stuffing the turkey or just carving through the crowds and taking your bite out of the retail pie.