Walmart’s CEO defends early Thanksgiving Day opening

al-Mart opened its stores at 6 p.m. this year, two hours earlier than last year and smack in the middle of most families' Thanksgiving dinners. So what does one of its top executives have to say?
CNNMoney spoke with Wal-Mart's U.S. CEO Bill Simon.

al-Mart opened its stores at 6 p.m. this year, two hours earlier than last year and smack in the middle of most families' Thanksgiving dinners. So what does one of its top executives have to say? CNNMoney spoke with Wal-Mart's U.S. CEO Bill Simon.

al-Mart opened its stores at 6 p.m. this year, two hours earlier than last year and smack in the middle of most families' Thanksgiving dinners. So what does one of its top executives have to say? CNNMoney spoke with Wal-Mart's U.S. CEO Bill Simon.

Wal-Mart’s U.S. CEO Bill Simon

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Wal-Mart opened its stores at 6 p.m. this year, two hours earlier than last year and smack in the middle of most families’ Thanksgiving dinners. So what does one of its top executives have to say?

CNNMoney spoke with Wal-Mart’s U.S. CEO Bill Simon.

Is shopping the kind of family tradition Wal-Mart wants to perpetuate?

Simon: Our job is to try to anticipate what the customer wants… Having families out, children in the building… gives it a different feel. And it’s one that’s in line with who we are at Wal-Mart. It feels a lot better in the evening than it did when it was early in the morning [on Black Friday].

Do you wrestle with the moral implications of [opening on Thanksgiving]?

Simon: We had planned not to move [the opening time] this year, but the market moved… I have a hard time imagining it could be 4:00. Let’s hope that it doesn’t move.

Are you willing to draw a line?

Simon: “We’ve seen about as early as it can go. It’s hard to imagine that it can move much more.”

Simon said he worked throughout most of the night, staying up by sipping coffee and downing a Monster energy drink. He noted that the company provided the 900,000 employees who worked on Thursday with a hot meal and extra pay — plus a 25% corporate in-store discount for their own holiday shopping.

2 comments

  • Pam McCall

    Ugh! you have got to be kidding me!! When your children want something they can not have, what do you as a parent say? you say NO correct? Well just because some people want to go shopping on a national holiday doesn’t mean you give them what they want. you tell them NO just like you would a child who wants something they cant have!! It’s not rocket science ya know, those who want to shop are taking away from family time of others by making employees have to work on that day! And that is not right! It use to be stores were closed only 2 days out of the year and that was Thanksgiving and Christmas, now people have taken one of those days away, and its not right! Untill you the store owners or ceo’s take a stand and say No we will not open on Thanksgiving it’s only going to get worse!!

  • Steve

    Well said, Pam! So very sadly, I can clearly see Christmas “in the sights” as being the next holiday that will be used for the greedy CEO’s/Owners to “make that almigthty dollar.” Very clear….. and sad!!!

Comments are closed.


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