Send retailers a message

Don’t give them your money on Thanksgiving, and remember to shop locally.

The trend of big-box stores opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day is a symptom of our culture’s out-of-control consumerism. Keep in mind that many of the folks who work at these retail giants—Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc.—don’t have the luxury of being able to stay home with their families.

So, if you have the holiday off and choose to go shopping, you are enabling greedy corporations in their bastardization of a day that ought to be about family and togetherness. Put another way, you are part of the machine that forces these modest wage-earners to be separated from their loved ones during a national holiday. You can send a message to these companies by staying home, and when you do shop later, make sure you do it at stores that gave their employees the day off.

This year, there are at least a dozen big companies that are closed on Thursday, including several you’ll find in Chico and Oroville (Costco, TJ Maxx, GameStop, PetSmart, Pier 1 Imports, Marshalls and Home Depot). Those retailers should be commended for valuing their employees’ family time. If you’re set on shopping at the big boxes, take note. Major kudos go to REI, the giant outdoor-gear store, for keeping its doors closed on Black Friday as well—and in so doing encouraging dozens of state parks in California and elsewhere to waive fees for the day.

Of course, we’d like to urge readers to support the independent retailers that keep Chico from looking like homogenous suburban America. The kind of shops you won’t find straddling highways up and down the state. So, rather than standing in line at 3 a.m. on Black Friday or, worse still, waiting until so-called Cyber Monday and buying everything on Amazon, go out on Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and support the stores that are owned and staffed by your neighbors. They will be most thankful.