Fat Chance: Online Petitions Ask Retailers to Close on Thanksgiving

There are apparently a bunch of people who still think that the holidays are about spending quality time with family or something like that.

That’s why close to 200,000 people have taken to online petition site Change.org to try to get big retailers to close on Thanksgiving, and open at a reasonable hour on Black Friday so that people can be with their loved ones and televisions during the all-American holiday.

There are no fewer than 60 petitions on Change.org under the “Save Thanksgiving 2013″ category against retailers like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and Staples.

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Clearly these people didn’t get the memo about what the holidays are actually all about: huge sales, long lines, mobs of people, and all of that other good stuff that comes along with festive consumerism.

Digiday reached out to Walmart, one of the many retailers that is starting Black Friday during Thanksgiving this year, to see what it makes of these petitions. While he would not comment specifically on the Walmart Thanksgiving petition, which has more than 26,000 signatures so far, Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg explained that firstly, there are “always a number of petitions on there” – and that most Walmart stores have been open on Thanksgiving since 1988 and many are open 24/7 anyway.

“If last year is any indication, we served over 20 million customers on Black Friday. Our customers are looking forward to Black Friday and depend on us,” said Lundberg.  “Most of our Black Friday preparation takes place the day before, and we want to be open in case our customers need anything.”

With shoppers expected to spend 3.9 percent more this holiday season, you can bet an online petition isn’t going to make retailers blink when it comes to their holiday store hours.