Thanksgiving “Grey Thursday Law” in Watchung Forces Walmart to Close for Two Hours [POLL]
It’s times like this when I think that Bergen County may have it right in maintaining in place blue laws forbidding most merchants to open their doors on Sunday.
With the rising number of Black Friday sales beginning late Thanksgiving evening, I want to know if you’d be in favor of your town banning Black Friday sales to start early.
Apparently that’s what Watchung is doing this year in response to an issue that had cropped up with a local Walmart last year.
Too many people in the store waiting for the sales to begin creating a safety problem.
In response to issues at a local Walmart store last year, all retailers in the borough will have to limit pre-Black Friday sales and close their doors at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
The two-hour retail ban, adopted by the borough council on Nov. 8, will be "strongly enforced," according to Tom Atkins, borough administrator.
The council unanimously adopted the ban for fear of customer safety and "unsafe conditions" during Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping, according to the ordinance putting the ban in effect.
Last year, the borough's Walmart store on Route 22 was open 24-hours and had issues of overcrowding because of the special sales, according to Watchung Police Chief Tim Wenzel.
"At least for this year, the town council is forcing them to close the stores, so the stores can empty and people can line up," he said.
Wenzel said he hopes the stores announce to their customers throughout the day on Thanksgiving that they will be closing for two hours at night, so people don't start lining up before midnight.
"These people go crazy. It's unbelievable," he said.
Yes, it’s true, they do go crazy…as we’ve already seen at one Walmart in 2008 in Valley Stream, Long Island where one shopper was trampled to death!
But it would seem the fact that police want shoppers to leave the store in order to “line up” would only cause more confusion, and possibly lead to the same scenario that lead to the 2008 incident. I think it's better just to let the shoppers stay in the store for those couple of hours.
Actually it may seem better still to just order stores to close entirely on Thanksgiving, but that’s my own personal belief Personally I think it’s “homeless” to shop on the night of Thanksgiving. It’s like the holiday doesn’t exist except to appeal to merchandising. But far be it from me to mandate the government intervene in the affairs of commerce.
I ask you, would you be in favor of towns banning stores from opening early on Thanksgiving evening? Leave your opinions below.