Recent actions by the department store JC Penney haven’t always sat well with Faith Driven Consumers, but the retail giant recently took a step in the right direction with its Black Friday policy.
As retailers increasingly encroach on Thanksgiving by opening their stores earlier, JC Penney went the opposite direction, opening at 6 a.m. – two hours later than last year. CEO Ron Johnson wrote this about his decision to open later on Black Friday:
“I know that some retailers are opening on Thanksgiving this year. But spending Thanksgiving with family is one of America’s greatest traditions. Since JC Penney was founded on the Golden Rule, I’m proud to honor this tradition by keeping our stores closed on this special day. I hope our customers and employees all enjoy a wonderful holiday with loved ones. And when we open at 6 a.m. the following day, we’ll be honoring another great American tradition — Black Friday — with our one big sale of the year.”
In contrast, other retailers were critiqued for opening their stores on Thanksgiving Day at 8 p.m. this year – forcing employees cut short the holiday to work on a day many Faith Driven Consumers consider sacred.
For many Americans, the jarring juxtaposition of a holiday devoted to gratefulness with jostling hordes of amped-up shoppers gunning to out-consume each other was too much to stomach. They see the ever-earlier store openings as a show of greed – with the Almighty Dollar trumping a day set aside for family and community.
Despite the criticism, Americans nevertheless hit the Black Friday-Turned-Thursday sales with gusto.
Given that the pressure is on retailers to increasingly encroach on Thanksgiving makes JC Penney’s decision all the more admirable. While other retailers try to gain a turkey leg up on the competition, JC Penney voluntarily took a hit to its profits and did the right thing. For this, they are to be commended.
Thanksgiving isn’t traditionally a religious holiday with Christian roots like other holidays. But it does represent biblical values that Faith Driven Consumers hold dear – thankfulness, family, graciousness and kindness. In an era of corporate ultra-competition, retailers that continue to set a day like Thanksgiving apart will increasingly resonate in the hearts and minds of Faith Driven Consumers.