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Holiday trend worth considering

It has been at least five years since the official kickoff of the holiday shopping season has started this early in the month of November.

And this year, some Black Friday sales are slated to begin on Thanksgiving Day as some retailers plan to open their doors that afternoon and evening. While it may seem odd to have retail shops open late on the holiday, it isn’t when you think about it.

Other retailers have been open on Thanksgiving for a number of years — those who sell food and the last-minute “I can’t believe I forgot” or “You really just now invited the neighbors over for turkey and trimmings” items.

We should know; we’ve made a trip or two ourselves.

The point is that it is not heresy to open for business on a holiday. We’ve been doing it for years now. However, we’d still like to caution those retailers new to the holiday opening realm to make it a voluntary option for their employees. We feel they should show some sensitivity on their end toward staffing for holidays on this traditional family holiday. Do not make it mandatory. If you can’t find enough employees to volunteer to work on Thanksgiving, we’d suggest you reconsider opening. You may find shoppers not as willing to leave their families and head for the stores on a Thursday evening as they are on Friday morning. Time will tell.

In these trying times, we certainly don’t blame retailers for looking at new ways to make an extra buck. The next five weeks of shopping are the biggest money-making opportunities each year for retailers.

The National Retail Federation, which keeps up with informative shopping tidbits, predicts up to 147 million people will shop Friday through Sunday, down slightly from the 152 million who planned to do so last year. However, they are expecting holiday sales to rise 4.1 percent to an estimated $586.1 billion.

Online shopping will certainly be another big draw this year with an estimated 12 percent increase, reaching somewhere between $92 billion and $96 billion. Last year, online sales grew 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

This particular trend also may be another reason to seriously consider whether or not to open a business on an extra day this year. The sales may not justify the cost of additional holiday pay, utilities and such.

Whatever you decide, we’re behind you.

And we ask everyone to be behind the local businesses by shopping locally. Not only do you keep sales tax dollars in Denton, but you also help keep those in the retail industry employed and meeting the numbers they need to continue growing in our community.