With Black Friday turning into Black Thursday and
Thanksgiving getting thrown out like leftover sweet potatoes, more shoppers are
heading out to stores earlier this year.
Unless, that is, you live in Rhode Island, Maine or
Massachusetts. Because of existing “blue laws,” most big stores in those states
are barred from opening on Thanksgiving. The ban includes supermarkets, big box
stores and department stores.
Local business groups have been trying to have the bans
overturned for years, especially in the wake of online shopping that’s
Bill Rennie, vice president of the Retailers Association of
Massachusetts, told Huffington Post shoppers are crossing into border states
that allow Thanksgiving shopping, including Connecticut, Vermont, New York or
“Why not give stores in Massachusetts the option?”
The law does allow some stores to open, including
convenience stores, movie theaters, pharmacies, restaurants and other small
businesses. Stores are not prohibited from opening early Friday and some businesses opt to open at midnight after Thanksgiving.
The rules vary among the states. Maine retailers in
buildings smaller than 5,000 square feet can operate on the holiday, for
example. Maine also allows some sporting goods stores, including Freeport-based
L.L. Bean, to keep its doors open but only because workers sign up for shifts
on a volunteer basis and then are paid extra later for working the holiday.
What do you think about a similar law for Alabama? Good taste or bad business?