Curious Which Stores Are Open On Thanksgiving

By Ron Sanders, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) — “Black Friday” is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and it seems like every store is open.

But what about Thanksgiving Day?

Stellar from Watertown Declared his Curiosity asking, “What is allowed to be open on Thanksgiving?  My gym is open but the grocery store is not. Is this normal or even  legal?”

The answer is in the details.

WBZ-TV’s Ron Sanders reports.

You may have seen the ads for major stores that are open Thanksgiving Day, some for the first time in their history.  That does not apply in Massachusetts. 
WBZ found many families shopping the day before Thanksgiving at Kmart and Sears, two big chains advertising they’ll be open Thanksgiving Day across the country. 

If you read the fine print, that’s prohibited by law in Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island where those stores will be closed.
Ron Sanders asked shoppers whether they would like to shop on Thanksgiving or if there would be pressure to shop if the stores were open.

“Absolutely not,” replied Lousie Barnes of Plymouth. “Because Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks and being with family and carrying on that tradition.”
“There wouldn’t be any pressure cause I wouldn’t do it.  It’s a family day. Rather be with the family,” said James McDonald of Chelsea.
Kmart’s web site says some of its Massachusetts store will be open and others will be closed Thanksgiving, but a corporate spokesman says none will be open in the Bay State. 

Massachusetts law allows some stores to be open on Thanksgiving including pharmacies, grocery and convenience stores, bakeries, flower shops, gas stations, pet stores, laundries, car washes and beauty salons but not major department stores and retailers.
“Personally, I wouldn’t shop, but if people want to, it’s up to them,” said Gina Fico of Weymouth.  “You can buy so much online; why would you want to be in a store?”
“I’d rather not have the pressure. Thanksgiving’s for families and having time at home with your family, and I believe that’s important,” remarked Deborah Brown of Dorchester.
“The employees need to have a chance to have a day off too,” added Janis Urbanek of Westwood.
While a couple of shoppers said it would be alright for people to have the option of shopping on Thanksgiving, a couple of others said they’d like to see a return to the more stringent and traditional blue laws in the land of the pilgrims’ pride. 
Kmart has a 19-year tradition of being open on Thanksgiving in other states. This will be the first year Sears will be open on Thanksgiving. A top Sears executive says that decision was based on customer response.

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