For the last several years now, the Thanksgiving holiday has slowly moved away from the idea of a family sharing great food and watching football together to something that more closely resembles a street fight over who gets the discounted flat screen in the aisles of the local electronics store.
But just when you thought Black Friday might just completely eclipse the traditional Thanksgiving holidays, here comes a dose of sanity.
Several big name retailers have decided that enough is enough and they’ve asked customers to stay home and enjoy time with their families. We’re talking companies like Staples, REI, Costco, Nordstrom, Barnes and Noble and GameStop, to name just a few.
Why the big shift?
It’s not entirely clear. What most of these retailers are communicating is that they want to champion the American family and take the idea of Thanksgiving back to giving thanks for what we have rather than fighting for more of what we don’t have yet.
Of course, it could also be a really great branding opportunity. Rather than compete for sales by opening earlier, staying open longer and paying employees double overtime, maybe these companies see a greater advantage in adopting a more family-friendly brand identity that automatically places their competitors on the other side of the debate?
Keep in mind, most of these companies are also reminding their customers that their websites are open 24/7 and that great deals can be found online. So, even if they are sincerely devoted to the restoration of the American Thanksgiving celebration, they’ve also found a way to leverage the shift towards cyber-shopping at the same time.
So, without any need to camp out in their parking lot or mace their neighbors in the face to enjoy the savings, no doubt millions of customers will take the hint and do their shopping with a mouse and a keyboard this Thanksgiving.
Where do you plan to spend your Thanksgiving this year – in line outside the local retail chain, online shopping for the best deals, or curled up in front of the fireplace with a large piece of pumpkin pie?
Contributed by Keith Giles, copywriter, Agency Ingram Micro