This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Why People Shop on Thanksgiving Day

PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- Now that we've finally arrived at Thanksgiving, can we place some sort of moratorium on complaining about the holiday shopping that happens on Thanksgiving night?

We've already gone into the hypocrisy of wailing about the commercialism of Thanksgiving shopping while watching floats and balloons paid for by toy companies, retailers and and movie studios parade down Sixth Avenue with Santa Claus in tow. If you watch the Macy's (M - Get Report) Thanksgiving Day Parade, you tacitly agree with Macy's position that the holiday shopping season starts once the corpulent red-suited sleigh driver hits Herald Square. That puts Thanksgiving Day shopping at Target (TGT - Get Report), Wal-Mart (WMT - Get Report), Kohls (KSS - Get Report), Sears (SHLD - Get Report) and elsewhere on the table right next to the can-shaped cranberry sauce and that larded Midwest casserole dish monstrosity crowding the turkey.

We've also delved into the audacity of Americans who yell about the erosion of family holiday tradition with volume usually reserved shouting at the screen during 12 consecutive hours of the National Football League's Thanksgiving coverage. Remind us again how lengthy video reviews and a href="">even lengthier explanations of the intricacies of the game to your football-illiterate relatives are time-honored Thanksgiving traditions.

The fact is that in the United States, a nation of 320 million people, it's statistically impossible for everybody to spend the holiday the same way. During my earliest days in this industry, I spent most of my Thanksgiving holidays behind the screen of a copy desk at various New Jersey and New York newspapers getting the ad-heavy Black Friday edition ready for the presses. While serving as assistant news editor at one of those papers, my colleague and I put together Thanksgiving potluck dinners, with everyone bringing a dish. From homemade empanadas to store-bought cookies, it was a huge spread that was about the best we could ask for with the restaurants closed and family dinners miles away.

In 2013, those newsroom dinners don't seem nearly so unorthodox. A CareerBuilder survey found that roughly 14% of U.S. workers plan to spend Thanksgiving at work. The retail workers manning the Thanksgiving sales account for 29% of that total, but 36% of leisure and hospitality workers will also be on the clock. Meanwhile, 23% of health care workers will be on hand in case someone chokes on a bone or burns themselves on a biscuit pan. It gets tougher by geography, as roughly a third of workers in both Atlanta and Denver will spend Thanksgiving with their coworkers.

Even if you have the day off, that's no guarantee you'll spend it with family. When family members live huge distances away and aren't exactly jet-setting members of frequent flyer clubs, they sometimes have to pick their holidays carefully. Though 43.4 million people told AAA they plan to travel 50 miles or more this thanksgiving, that's down 1.5% from last year's 44 million. Of those making the trip, only 67% are doing so to be with family and only 56% are in it for Thanksgiving dinner.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
M $39.27 -2.50%
KSS $42.62 1.30%
SHLD $16.60 -4.60%
TGT $69.20 -0.52%
WMT $66.10 -1.30%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 15,906.52 -298.45 -1.84%
S&P 500 1,844.84 -35.21 -1.87%
NASDAQ 4,268.0420 -95.1020 -2.18%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs