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Letters: Opening stores on Thanksgiving

People crowd the first floor of Macy's department

People crowd the first floor of Macy's department store as they open at midnight in New York to start the stores' Black Friday shopping weekend. (Nov. 23, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

Retailers are taking flak for opening earlier on Thanksgiving Day ["Stores shouldn't open on holiday," Letters, Nov. 8].

It's sad that more than 1 million retail workers will see little of their families, but blaming retailers for being greedy or anti-holiday is misplaced. Retail is hyper-competitive, and this year retailers face challenges that include a shortened holiday shopping season, consumer confidence that's nearly the lowest it's been in two years, and increased competition from online shopping.

Retailers are not leading an assault on a sacred American holiday. They're following shifts in consumer behavior. People between ages 18 and 34 are increasingly demonstrating that their shopping is holiday-agnostic: 36 percent reported shopping last Thanksgiving.

If anyone is to blame for "stealing" Thanksgiving, it's the consumer, whose behavior has become more untraditional, thanks to the Internet and changing generational attitudes. Retailers opening their doors earlier is nothing more than accommodating customers, many of whom dread the prospect of getting up early on Black Friday to battle the crowds.

If consumers don't like where this new world is taking us, they have the power of the wallet. Consumers who object to a store opening on Thanksgiving can shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, or refrain from spending altogether.

Mark Simon, Mineola

Editor's note: The writer is an executive vice president at Didit, an online marketing agency.

I am appalled at the number of stores that intend to open up early on Thanksgiving Day. We are losing sight of what the holiday is all about: reflecting on our blessings and spending time with family and friends.

It is not a time where we now have to gobble down dinner and then get ready for work or, worse yet, run to a store. Something has to be done about this madness.

Marie Gandini, East Meadow