Thanksgiving Shopping Controversy Goes Viral

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RENO, NV -- Some see it as a fun family activity; others see it as robbing employees of holiday family time. The decision of some stores to stay open on Thanksgiving has spurred a heated debate among KOLO 8 viewers. Some businesses are giving a whole new meaning to "tradition."

"If you own a store, you should be able to say when it opens. People don't have to go there on a day they don't want to shop," a woman from Reno said.

"It's a little ridiculous just because Thanksgiving gets overlooked," another Reno resident said.

Millions have taken a stance on the KOLO Facebook page, commenting and sharing the heated debate--why should stores stay open for the holidays? For some big box stores, opening a day early relieves the Black Friday rush. Old Navy has opened on Thanksgiving day every year since 2006.

"One of the best thing to do during the holiday is to go shopping as a family so why not do it on Thanksgiving day?" Rachel Eamigh, Old Navy service and training manager, said.

Some employees work for the extra pay, and since they can't spend the holiday with their own families, they enjoy spending it with others.

"I always worked at stores that weren't really family-oriented, but here {at Old Navy} since we offer so many fun things for the kids, it wasn't taking anything away from the holiday aspect like most people thought it would," Eamigh said.

Small business owners with fewer than 10 employees think some things are more important than work: families.

"Thanksgiving is about tradition and we like to keep that and that's spending time with your families," Juel Kuckenmeister says. "I expect to be home and having fun with my family and i want my employees to do the same."

Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only days of the year The Niche, a clothing boutique in Sparks, Reno and Truckee is closed, reserving that time for families.

"It's a day that everyone should just be at home as far as we are concerned," Kuckenmeister added.

Some people are making a viral effort on Facebook to boycott shopping on that day for the sake of the employees.

"For me, I just don't think I would go shopping on Thanksgiving because it's like family day," a Reno resident said.

We invite you to join the conversation. let us know what you think by heading to our Facebook page, user name KOLO 8 News Now.