As retailers across the country extend “Black Friday” from a one-day event to a weeklong effort that includes shopping time on Thanksgiving day, some wish for the old days when “blue laws” made it difficult to do business on Sundays.
In Rhode Island, one state lawmaker went so far as to introduce legislation that would make it illegal for retailers to be open on Thanksgiving.
Take a breath, we say. As President Ronald Reagan would often intone, “let the market decide.”
The last thing any state needs is a lawmaker who would think it more important to regulate the business hours of retailers than it is to address the issues of poverty, parity and equal protection under the law.
There isn't a retailer in the world that would open its doors on Thanksgiving if consumers were not available to take advantage of the extended hours. How people spend their Thanksgiving holiday is not something any legislator should think is worthy of attention.
Competition is good. The holiday season is the “make it or break it” time for retailers. They make their sales goals during this time or they don't. They grow from success or they constrict from failure, and potentially close the doors.
Shoppers get the bargains they're looking for; manufacturers get the buzz they need for new products and old standbys for gift-giving.
We're not particularly interested in shopping on Thanksgiving, but many are ready to buy, buy, buy. That's a personal decision and not something that requires any oversight from any government.