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'Gray Thursday' spurned at The Mac Store

Kevin Anderson, CEO of The Mac Stores, thinks that at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving, people should be sitting down to break bread with their families, not clocking into work like employees had to last year at the Clackamas Town Center.

Retailers have been opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving, and The Mac Store, with 10 locations throughout the Northwest, “has decided to put its employees and family time ahead of profit,” and will open all its stores no earlier than 6 a.m. on Black Friday.

In Olympia, Wash., and in Eugene, malls are fining The Mac Store, but Anderson wanted to credit Clackamas Town Center for “doing the right thing” in allowing stores to open later. Clackamas Town Center is not among several of the malls in which The Mac Store is located that are levying fines against any retailer that does not open during their prescribed hours on Thanksgiving.

“Enough is enough. Opening up before Black Friday was initiated by large national retailers trying to scoop each other to be the first to open,” Anderson said. “This is at the cost of employees being at home with their families on one of the few days of the year the United States sets aside for family time.”

Now that Thanksgiving is being turned into “Gray Thursday,” Anderson argues these actions obliterate the meaning of the holiday. The Mac Store decided to incur the fines to allow employees to enjoy their holiday as well as a good night’s sleep before Black Friday.

“I personally wish consumers would discourage the blatant disregard these national chains are showing for family traditions and values by refraining from shopping until after Thanksgiving, although we, of course, acknowledge that it’s a personal choice everyone has to make,” Anderson said. “Unfortunately, the employees of these firms aren’t given much choice in the matter, and we think that’s sad.”

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