Businesses not to participate in Black Friday

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With November here and Thanksgiving around the corner, things seem to be changing for Black Friday, historically the biggest shopping day of the year.

Black Friday has a record of starting earlier and ear- lier each year.

Stores once opened as early as 3 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and in the past few years it has changed to starting on Thanksgiving evening with hours beginning between 10 p.m. and midnight.

This change has caused stores such as REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) to reconsider and remind people what Thanksgiving is really all about.

REI announced that it will not be participating in Black Friday nor opening on Thanksgiving. Instead, the store is encouraging customers to go outdoors with their families, promoting the #optoutside as part of the experience.

“REI has a campaign called Opt Out because they feel Thanksgiving is a time to be with family and they want to encourage people to be outside,” said Stockton REI Manager Matt Patwell.

The Stockton location is at Stonecreek Village, just north of the Delta College campus.

The Opt Out campaign already has one million people committed to being outside.

No doubt the company will be taking a financial hit with all 140 stores being closed but REI wants to support people being with their family and friends on Thanksgiving.

“REI is also paying all their 12,000 employees on Black Friday,” said Patwell, to encourage their workers to go outside and be with their families.

Other stores are joining REI in sending a strong statement to consumers.

Stores that will be staying closed on Thanksgiving

Day include: Costco, Harbor Freight, Game Stop, Sam’s Club, Staples and T.J. Maxx.

Chris Howze, a former Delta College student who works as a contractor at the Costco in Stockton, said he worked Thanksgiving shifts in a previous job.

He’s glad to have the time off now.

“My Thanksgiving consisted of working till 3 a.m. the day before to get prepared for Black Friday. Then going home, sleeping till everyone arrived, then leaving at 5 p.m. to go back to work to deal with loud idiots fighting over cheap TVs and Blu Ray players,” he said of his previous job.

Howze now gets Thanksgiving Day off from Costco and describes it as saying: “Now I’ll actually get to enjoy the day like an actual human being.”

More stores may change hours to be closed on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Make sure to check the hours of the stores before planning your shopping days.