Stores That Forced You to Work Over Thanksgiving Didn’t Earn as Much as Last Year

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Who here spent the Thanksgiving weekend at work? (I guess I won’t count those of us who spent Sunday afternoon/evening “catching up on work,” since that’s just part of our lives now.)

If you worked in or around the retail industry, here are some statistics that might leave a bitter taste in your mouth, especially compared to all of those Thanksgiving pies you could have spent the weekend eating. As ThinkProgress writes:

The number of customers in stores on Thanksgiving stayed flat as compared to last year, when shoppers who went to stores on the holiday didn’t show up on Black Friday. Meanwhile, sales data from ShopperTrak showed that Thanksgiving itself only generated $1.8 billion, compared to $10.4 billion on Black Friday. Even more disappointing was that the total for both days was depressed compared to last year: RetailNext data showed overall sales for the two days fell 1.5 percent and average spending per shopper also declined 1.4 percent.

That doesn’t mean holiday shopping overall was a total dud; much of it has simply shifted online. More than 103 million people shopped online on Thanksgiving Day, more than the under 102 million who went to stores, according to the National Retail Federation. And according to sales data from Adobe Digital Index, online sales hit a record $7.2 billion between Thanksgiving and Black Friday, up more than 14 percent over last year.

In other words: your labor didn’t even help your industry earn the amount of money it had earned in previous years! That’s terrible, because we all know that the only definition of success is continuously earning more money than you previously did. (This definition of “success” applies to both people and corporation-people.)

ThinkProgress suggests that stores stay closed on Thanksgiving Day—although Black Friday is, as always, a free-for-all—and that sounds like a solid assessment. However, I’ve never spent Thanksgiving working retail, so I’d rather hear stories from people who did, and what types of hours you’d like to work over the annual Black Friday shopping weekend.

This story is part of our Holidays 2015 series.

Photo credit: Patrick Hoesly

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