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Outrage over Kmart’s Thanksgiving decision

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Kmart had barely announced its decision to stay open for 41 hours straight on Thanksgiving Day, when people started lashing out.

Hundreds of Kmart customers took to social media and threatened to boycott the store if it didn’t reverse its decision, so that its employees can spend Thanksgiving with their families. People called the decision “heartless,” “greedy,” “shameful” and “disgusting.”

Kmart has opened at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving for the past three years. Last year, however, stores closed for a few hours at 4 p.m. to let shoppers and employees get to their Thanksgiving dinners.

“Shame on you, Kmart. I will never set foot in any of your stores again,” wrote Tracy Lane on Kmart’s Facebook page. “I have family members that work in retail and because of greedy retailers like you, will not be able to spend the day with us.”

Many customers expressed how upset they were for Kmart workers who would have to work through the holiday.

“Maybe Kmart should have shown they are thankful for their loyal employees and let them be with their families on Thanksgiving,” Jenn Tayrien wrote. “I realize you are a corporation and your goal is to make money…but sometimes you need to show and prove that people are important, too.”

One shopper said he hoped the retailer would go bankrupt because it has “proven [to be] morally bankrupt” by being open all day.

Kmart, which is owned by Sears, responded to a number of these negative comments, saying it will staff stores with volunteers and seasonal associations whenever possible.

“This gives associates the opportunity to make some some additional money this holiday season,” the retailer wrote.

A Kmart spokeswoman said the company made the decision to extend the hours based on feedback from customers, who wanted more “flexible holiday in-store shopping times” and were eager to shop for deals.

Many stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day, but are waiting until the evening to throw open their doors to deal hunters. Toys R Us is by far the earliest among those, announcing Tuesday that it would open at 5 p.m., three hours earlier than last year. Macy’s, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney and Sears will let customers in at 8 p.m.

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  • sherry

    You should leave your worker off the entire day for Thanksgiving, People why would you want to shop at a greedy store who wont let their employers off. Are they not American’s who run Kmart anymore. shame on you. People don’t shop at Kmart at all. Let them leave there employers off that thankful day.

  • stacey

    Thats just wrong for both stores kmart just triflin for staying open that late yall really need to think about people family.and that goes for toys r us to why open at 5 so yall really dont care bout nobody as long as yall get yall money just plain money hungry smh

  • chuck

    If there was not a demand for the store to be open it would not be. K-mart is not opening just so employees can not be with their families. I am sure every store has employees that do not care if they work and will be the first to work any one after that should be happy to have a job and eat diner with their families a couple hours early or late depending on which shift they have to work.

  • K

    I doubt K-Mart will expect a high enough volume to keep a high number of employees. Black Friday is usually a retail blackout date, and employees need to be there. Thanksgiving probably won’t be that way, the employees who work may prefer the extra cash over having the day off.

  • scars

    I refuse to shop on Thanksgiving. And I refuse to shop at retailers who are open on Thanksgiving. Black Friday is ridiculous anyway. Shoppers lining up for only a handful of items that are actually marked way down (and they have limited quantities of them) and getting in fights and losing tempers. I’ll pass on that. I think everyone needs to remember the reason for the season and stop being so darn materialistic. It is just stuff. At the end of your life, you’ll remember the time you spent with loved ones. You won’t remember the great deal you got on cheap stuff made in China that will probably break about 2 days after the warranty expires anyway …

  • Megan Baumstark

    So, KMart is obviously pretty sensitive about their Holiday shopping hours despite trying to argue why they’re in the right… I simply asked why they’re open on Thanksgiving when everyone else isn’t and they blocked me from their Facebook site. Obviously, despite their claims, costumer feedback is NOT one of their priorities…

    Here’s the post that got me blocked:

    “Why cut out family dinner? I understand your reasoning behind being open on Thanksgiving, a lot of people are (There’s plenty of single people who don’t have family dinners to attend who I’m sure are thankful for the availability)… but Old Navy is closing at 4pm & re-opening to allow families to get together. Target, Staples, Sears, Macy’s, JC Penny, & Kohl’s are all waiting until 8:00pm, after family dinners, to open… The Simon Malls & Best Buy are waiting until 6:00pm… the only company that seems to believe in your values are Walmart and well, we all know how “wholesome” of a company they are. Even last year, you closed at 4:00pm and re-opened to welcome shoppers and appease employee’s family time. Curious if the few extra hours are really worth showcasing such damaged and questionable ethics. How unfortunate…””

  • kesha

    I work a job where holidays are required so its not that big of a deal. There are probably workers who want to get in there and make that holiday pay.

  • Jenny

    Who cares? For those of us with no family to celebrate with or who don’t gorge on tons of food, a chance to shop quietly on an otherwise depressing day is peaceful. Nobody whines about all the hospital workers, police, and firefighters working on Thanksgiving. ERs are usually quite busy that day.

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