Strib changes tune on Thanksgiving retail

Oh, Star Tribune, you’ve changed.

In its editorial today, the newspaper gives thanks for the Mall of America’s decision to stay closed on Thanksgiving.

That is a welcome development for a number of reasons. It may be, as some have posited, that it simply made financial sense not to open the world’s largest mall, with 15,000 employees and more than 500 stores, for a partial day that many Americans still choose to spend in places other than shopping centers. Perhaps retail analysts are correct when they say Thanksgiving Day hours just spread sales across a longer period without increasing sales overall.

But plenty of retailers are expected to continue treating the holiday as just another consumer spending opportunity. The Mall of America, after listening to workers for the last few years, as opening times crept earlier and earlier — first midnight, then 8 p.m., then 6 p.m. — opted to go a different route. Perhaps the move will restart a national conversation about the values people attach to holidays.

That’s a far cry from the editorial board’s position in 2011 when it responded to Target employees’ complaints about having to work at midnight on Thanksgiving with one of the nastiest editorials we’ve ever seen.

.. complaining about work hours is grossly self-indulgent.

Many unemployed workers would love a steady paycheck to stave off a home foreclosure or, in the most desperate cases, to cover the cost of Thanksgiving dinner.

When times were better, retail giants forcing employees to work on treasured family holidays could easily be painted as corporate greed run amok. But today it’s hardly fair to paint merchants as retail Scrooges.

Many are lacking health insurance and foregoing staples that in different times were a given.
So please, protesting retail workers, stop whining about having to work holiday hours.

Be grateful to have a job.

The Star Tribune quietly deleted the editorial from its website a year or so ago.