Economy

Starbucks Employees Will Be At Work On Thanksgiving Day

CREDIT: AP/Ted S. Warren

Many Starbucks locations will be open on Thanksgiving Day this year, requiring some of its employees to come to work. Hours will vary from store to store.

“Starbucks stores are a gathering place for the entire community and customers use our stores to connect over coffee in different ways every day,” a spokeswoman told The Huffington Post. “We are very happy to welcome customers on Thanksgiving in select store locations.”

Those who come to work on the national holiday will be paid time and a half. When asked about how it will determine who gets the shifts, the spokeswoman said, “When scheduling, our managers make their best effort to balance partner availability with the needs of the business.”

Twelve national retail stores will also be open on Thanksgiving Day, starting Black Friday shopping a day early and requiring millions of workers to be at work rather than at home with friends and family. Nearly 1 million Walmart employees will have to come in to keep the store open all day, while Kmart will open at 6 a.m. and RadioShack will open at 8 a.m., although it will take a break in the middle of the day. Most others will open in the evening.

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CREDIT: Adam Peck/ThinkProgress

While the companies mostly say they will staff shifts with volunteers and seasonal workers, the reality may be different. One Kmart employee says the store hasn’t asked anyone to opt in and hasn’t even given them the holiday schedule yet. Last year, its workers reported being denied the request to take the day off. None of the workers, or any Americans for that matter, are guaranteed paid holidays off.

But other brands have taken the opposite approach and promised to keep their doors shut to allow workers to stay home. Seventeen, as varied as Barnes & Noble, Costco, GameStop, Nordstrom, and REI, won’t be open on the holiday this year. Some have said outright that the decision was made in order to allow employees to celebrate. Costco explained, “Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families.”

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CREDIT: Adam Peck/ThinkProgress

It may also make business sense to stay closed. Half of Americans say shopping on Thanksgiving is a terrible idea and the majority say they’re not going to shop in stores on that day. Last year, some consumers even said they’d be less likely to shop at a store that opened on the holiday. Last year, opening a day early didn’t increase holiday sales more than would have been expected without early hours.

Support for stores that close can be seen in the nearly 98,000 people who have liked a Facebook page called Boycott Black Thursday, the more than 90,000 people who have signed a Change.org petition asking Target to close, and the nearly 5,000 people who have signed a Coworker.org petition asking Kmart to give employees the ability to take the day off.