Yup, you read right. Get ready you Black Friday shoppers because K-Mart is pulling one for the record books. The company just announced that all stores will open at 6am sharp on Thanksgiving Day to kick off their Black Friday shopping event. The stores will stay open for a full 41 hours straight.
They are one of the first of many retailers to announce their opening plans for the shopping extravaganza and most of the time, similar retailers follow suit in order to compete and beat the competition. Sears looks to be following suit. Best Buy, Target and Walmart have yet to announce opening plans, but bet your money that they may follow suit.
K-Mart is being criticized by the aggressive plan as shoppers and workers take to the company's official Facebook page to leave comments and how they are heartless monsters for doing this to their employees. See full story below.
It's only been hours since Kmart announced its Black Friday plan — to remain open for 41 hours in a row beginning early on Thanksgiving Day. But online critics are throwing a red light on the plan, with some calling the company a Grinch for its aggressive approach to the start of the Christmas shopping season.
"Everybody thinks your executives are horrible people," a man named Christopher Sweet wrote on Kmart's Facebook page. Another critic, Ted Talevski, appealed to the workers: "This is a message to all Kmart employees! Do not go to work on Thanksgiving Day!"
Responding to the negative feedback, Kmart says that it will try to staff its stores with seasonal workers to accommodate employees who want to be with friends and relatives.
Amber Camp, who says she works at Kmart, said via Facebook that her bosses "are planning on all the employees to have some time so we can actually spend time with our families on Thanksgiving."
The criticisms began flowing soon after Sears, Kmart's parent company, announced that the stores that long promoted "blue light specials" will be open from 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning to 11 p.m. Friday night.
Sears stores will work a less aggressive schedule, opening from 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night to 10 p.m. Friday.
"Kmart has opened at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving for the past three years," reports CNN Money, where we spotted the story about the backlash. "Last year, however, stores closed for a few hours at 4 p.m. to let shoppers and employees get to their Thanksgiving dinners."
The company's social media team repeatedly issued responses to the criticisms on Facebook, saying, "We understand many associates want to spend time with their families during the holiday. With this in mind Kmart stores do their very best to staff with seasonal associates and those who are needed to work holidays."
One person offered their own response to a similar statement on Twitter, saying, "yes, that's what the companies I worked for told us too, however we had no choice in the matter and I doubt your associates do either."
But some defended the move, saying that many retail employees would be happy to earn overtime. And others say they aren't bothered by the plan.
"Nobody is physically forcing employees to work at Kmart if they don't like the scheduling," one Facebook comment read.
Coming from retail, this really grinds my gears. I do work for Best Buy and from my experience, the company tends to follow suit. But, it's the price one has to pay while working retail. The sucky part is that the corporate executives get to spend the holiday with their families while the store associates are robbed from their family time.
Some may argue that overtime is given and time in a half is given to people and they also claim that they will staff the stores with seasonal workers who are required to work the holidays. I feel that it's true to some extent, but only using seasonal workers is no where near enough to keep the ball rolling for a full 15 hours. Enough of my rambling, now we wait to see what Best Buy have up it's sleeve.... What do you think about this? Should K-Mart and other retailers open on Thanksgiving Day and rob their employees from the special and warm holiday?