Pols call for Thanksgiving shopping big box boycott

Before you rush to finish your turkey dinner so that you can to get to Macy’s to hunt for bargains on Thanksgiving night, state Sen. Diane Savino and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis want you to reconsider.

The two lawmakers are calling on shoppers to boycott the so-called “big box stores” that they charge are disrespecting the Thanksgiving holiday, family values and their employees by opening on Thursday.

Instead of shopping at stores like Macy’s Kohl’s, J.C. Penney and KMart, residents should patronize small, local, mom-and-pop stores in Brooklyn and elsewhere on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

Black Friday, which used to be the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season, is Friday, Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday is Nov. 30 and the two lawmakers are urging their constituents to shop on that day, rather than on Thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on our blessings, spend time with loved ones and give back to our community. The big box stores opening on this important day are taking away from the family values and community service we are meant to observe,” Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) said.

“Not only are there plenty of retailers properly observing the holiday that will be open for business on Friday, but this weekend marks the annual Small Business Saturday where we show our support for the families and businesses that are the backbone of our economy,” Malliotakis said.

The Thanksgiving opening of Macy’s marks the first time the department store giant has done so in its 155-year history.

With the economy still struggling to regain its footing, retailers are hoping to improve the bottom line by enticing shoppers into their stores to jump-start the holiday shopping season.

But Malliotakis and Savino said that such an emphasis on commercialism comes at a price.

“Every year, it seems the space between holidays gets shorter and shorter,” Savino (D-Coney Island-Bensonhurst-Staten Island) said. “We have all remarked on this tendency in retail, both large and small. The Fourth of July bunting is replaced with Halloween decorations on the fifth of July. Valentine hearts pop up on Jan. 2! Yet now it seems that incessant consumerism and corporate greed are on track to erase one holiday right off the calendar,” she said.

Savino said residents should celebrate Thanksgiving to “celebrate in the real spirit, reflecting on what we have to be thankful for, not what we wish to acquire.”

Small Business Saturday is an initiative of the U.S. Small Business Administration aimed at supporting small businesses and all they do for their communities. To find participating locations in Brooklyn, visit http://shopsmallnow.americanexpress.com.