Walmart's announcement that it would begin its "Black Friday" sales events earlier than ever this year, with sales starting at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, drew mostly negative reactions from Chesterfield Patch readers.
Although the retail giant did hold sales on Thanksgiving Day last year, they started later in the evening. The 8 p.m. push will be one of three sales "events" for Walmart with others occurring at 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. the next day.
According to the St. Louis Business Journal, Walmart earns more than a quarter of its annual sales from the holiday season. The National Retail Federation is also expected a surge in spending from consumers, predicting that it will rise 4.1 percent compared to last year.
In comments on the Chesterfield Patch Facebook and Twitter pages, people said the shopping event was an unwelcome encroachment onto the holiday.
@Ashley Jelovic: "It's ruining the holiday for people. People will rush eating dinner with fam/spending time with them to go shop."
Heather Rounds: "I think it's kind of a travesty. Is nothing sacred anymore? Give Americans the chance to enjoy their family holiday, and the poor people who are now expected to go to work all night will have to sleep through Thanksgiving all together. Is it really worth it? To get a deal on gifts for the people you should be spending time with in the first place?"
Christine Hartwig: "I will not shop on the holiday."
Another user was more ambivilent, stating it wasn't Walmart's fault if people chose to shop there.
Ann Book: "If people want to shop then, and people are willing to work (for extra wages, I'm sure), then I have no problem with stores being open on holidays. No one can force you to shop. I hope no one is pressured to work. Then again, I still try to minimize shopping on Sundays."
Do you agree or disagree? Add your own opinion in the comments below.