By Noemi Pollack
This year, at many Thanksgiving dinner celebrations, you might hear, “Hurry up with that second helping of turkey. We need to get to the stores!”
Sadly, I can hear it happening now… That turkey will get gulped down in favor of shopping for Black Friday, which now isn’t about Friday, but also Thursday. Just consider: on Thanksgiving day, Sears promises to open its doors at 6 p.m. and remain open until 2 a.m., then close for three hours, before reopening at 5 a.m. on Black Friday. Best Buy will follow suit and open most stores one hour earlier and close one hour earlier, than Sears. And then there is Target, Toys R Us and the list goes on and on for Thanksgiving Day. Yes, definitely Black Thursday as well.
Maybe we should start getting in the habit of making Thanksgiving dinner a brunch, so that we can linger over turkey and still make it to the stores.
But there is one store that has chosen the altruistic route and exchanged profits for social causes they believe in… Thank you Patagonia.
That company has announced plans to use Black Friday as a springboard for donating to the charitable causes that might get scaled-back as a result of the US presidential election. According to the company’s statement, “it will donate 100 percent of its global Black Friday sales in stores and online to grassroots organizations—specifically, those focused on environmental protection efforts in local communities across the country.” Patagonia president and CEO Rose Marcario, feels passionately about environmental concerns and support for environmental organizations has been consistent for Patagonia.
Patagonia is known for challenging marketing traditions. Back in 2012, their campaign “Don’t Buy This Jacket” urged consumers to avoid “overconsumption” and to re-think twice how much stuff they actually need. Imagine, a retailer dissuading buyers… Another retailer that is donating proceeds to charitable organizations, but not quite in the league of Patagonia, is Net-a-Porter that will donate 15% of sales from regularly priced items to the White Ribbon Alliance, a maternal health organization, also potentially on the list to be defunded. REI, on the other hand, has had the gumption to actually close stores on Black Friday for the last two years, urging would-be buyers to enjoy outdoors, rather than shop, as part of a campaign called #OptOutside.
So if you really want to walk off that meal on Thursday, why not take the message from REI seriously, even though meant for Black Friday, and forgo Thursday shopping for a walk that is really a walk and not just down shopping aisles?
Or, if you cannot resist shopping after that turkey dinner, why not buy that sweater, jacket or pants from the stores that are bucking the trend of only focusing on profits — on the very day that we are all giving thanks for the bounties we do have?