Boycott Black Thursday movement grows as retailers feel social media pressure to slash hours

Can calls for Black Thursday boycott work?

By Nathan Legg
Posted on Nov 24, 2014 - 4:32pm

Lots of noise on social media from consumers urging stores to remain closed on Thanksgiving. But will a boycott work?

Lots of noise on social media from consumers urging stores to remain closed on Thanksgiving. But will a boycott work?

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks. For many, it’s also a chance to be with family. But what about moms and dads who work in retail? With so many stores staying open Thanksgiving, the boycott Black Thursday movement is gaining momentum on social media, with claims that being open is family un-friendly.

A Boycott Black Thursday page on Facebook has more than 100 thousand likes, up 14% from last week.

“On November 27th, boycott any retailer that chooses to extend massive Black Friday sales into Thanksgiving Day. Protect the employees, protect the family,” the Boycott Black Thursday page says. “Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday that is meant as a day for giving thanks for what you already have, not as a day for shopping for material items that you probably don’t need. We suggest you boycott Black Thursday as well and tell the big box stores that it’s okay to save at least one day every year where we can set aside our desires for more possessions and be thankful for what we already have.”

In New York, more than 600 employees signed a petition asking that the store to at least allow employees to request Thanksgiving off.


According to Fox 5, 25-year-old Jillian Fisher organized the petition. Her mom, Donna, was forced to work two five hour shifts last Thanksgiving and she didn’t want a repeat.

“They accommodated my mom this year, but now someone else has to choose between working and spending time with their family,” Fisher said.

boycott black thursday2While some workers are not thrilled, and may even be downright mad, at having to work on Thanksgiving, some give thanks for it.

“I work at a grocery store and we will be open on Thanksgiving till 2pm. At time and a half i make almost 15 an hour,” writes Jarrica Rainville on Facebook. “Working on a holiday or a Sunday is sometimes not my ideal situation but even that ‘$40 extra dollars’ is a make or break situation for me.

“Would I like to stay home with my toddler and family? Yes. Can I afford to do that? Most of the time I  cannot.”

Another Boycott Black Thursday type page has emerged on Facebook.

Boycott Shopping on Thanksgiving Day has more than 11 thousand likes. It developed a naughty/nice list, calling out those retailers that chooses to be open and putting their names down on the naughty.

On the Nice List: Dillard’s, Crate & Barrel, Home Depot, Lowes, Marshall’s Talbots, Publix, Saks Fifth Avenue, Men’s Warehouse, Sur La Table, PC Richard.

On the Naughty: Old Navy, GAP, Walmart, Beall’s, Best Buy, Kay Jewelers, Williams-Sonoma;

“If we don’t shop on Thanksgiving Day, it won’t be profitable for the retailers and they won’t do it again next year. It’s that simple,” the page says.

On Twitter, under the hashtag BoycottBlackThursday, there’s a chorus of people urging a boycott.

Target Employee Says Workers Are Threatened With Termination If They Refuse To Work On Thanksgiving reads the headline on

Opening on Thanksgiving is serious business for retailers. And the freedom to take off is a big deal for employees.

A Target employee created a petition on which urges the company to stay closed on Thanksgiving. It has more than 75,000 signatures.

Black-Thursday-ShoppingDespite the social media outcry, experts say calls for a boycott will not trump the ads that trumpet big savings that lure shoppers.

Howard Davidowitz, chairman of the Davidowitz Associates retail consultancy, tells the New York Post that any boycott effort will simply fail.

“It’s not gonna do anything,” he says, because “retailers are in a war for market share.”

Nathan Legg is a contributing writer for Daddyhood who enjoys most writing stories about dads teaching their sons life lessons, sports and finance. Born in Pittsburgh and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Nathan and his dad’s relationship revolves around sports. Together they watch and discuss all things Black n’ Gold on a daily basis.