I just had an experience that I wanted to share with all of you, but by way of background, let me give you a little information about myself. During my time in college I spent several years working at a major retailer, and got a good taste of how awful that can be (fret not dear readers, I have since graduated and fortunately employed in a job which doesn't keep me living on the edge). Having spent several years working various retail positions, I'm sympathetic to those who work them now.
Anyways, I've always thought that Black Friday is a terrible thing, and was particularly outraged this year to see it getting pushed up into Thanksgiving itself. I decided, as my small stand against this sort of nonsense, that I would not do any holiday shopping with those businesses which made their employees work on Thanksgiving. Additionally, I decided that I would do as little shopping with them otherwise so that my money would not show up in their fourth quarter earnings.
Then a couple days ago, I made a quick run to my local Target to get some medicine. I was particularly impressed with the cashier that checked me out, so I decided that I would fill out the little survey at the bottom of the receipt and mention how good she was. I don't have any particular insight into how useful that is at Target, but at the store I was with comments from the surveys were a factor in promotions, raises, and bonuses.
So I filled out the survey, and talked about how great of a job she did (she went out of her way to be nice to my daughter, which is always a way to win future business with me). Then, since I was there anyways, I figured I'd add a little jab at the company at the bottom.
Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking of writing a diary at the time or I would have saved what I said, but it was something to this effect:
I don't normally fill out these surveys, but I'm writing today [because your associate was awesome, blah blah blah...]
The other reason I've decided to write today is to note that while I'm a regular Target shopper, I have recently decided to do as little business with your company as possible. I prefer shopping with you, but I cannot, in good faith, continue to do business with a company that ruined its associates' Thanksgiving by making them come to work for the business of the small number of shoppers who have nothing better to do with their Thanksgiving evening. I usually do a good deal of my holiday shopping at Target, but I will not purchase any of my Christmas gifts from you this year. Moreover, I am doing as little of my shopping with you for the rest of this year so that my dollars don't go into your fourth quarter profits.
I have been happy with your company in the past, and will start shopping with you again next year. I will even do my Christmas shopping with you in the future if you stop mistreating your associates. In the meantime, I wish you the worst fourth quarter possible, and I will see you next year.
Like I said above, I don't know how important these things are at Target, but they got read at the retailer I where I worked. Maybe it won't make any difference, but my hope is that if retailers get hurt this quarter, then maybe little actions like this will percolate up to decision makers and stop Black Friday's inevitable march forward into November.