Mall's 26-Hour Black Friday Schedule a 'Kick in the Gut' on Thanksgiving

Extended hours will force all Rockaway Townsquare stores to open Thanksgiving night at 8 p.m.

Many shoppers are starting to make other plans this holiday season.

Customers said they will boycott Rockaway Townsquare after the Morris County mall told its retailers last week they all must remain open for 26 straight hours from 8 p.m. Thanksgiving until 10 p.m. Black Friday.

The Oct. 21 memo, which was posted two days later on Rockaway Townsquare's Facebook page, stated the extended hours are needed "in order to serve our shoppers and in keeping in line with department store hours."

"This being a change from past seasons, we wanted to provide you with enough lead time to schedule your staffs accordingly and as a friendly reminder all tenants are expected to follow the holiday schedule," according to the memo from Allen Smith, interim mall manager.

Jenn Bonard, who posted the memo on the mall's Facebook page, commented the schedule forces merchants to open on what was one of their three days closed all year.

"We've always been guaranteed to spend with our families is not so much a slap in the face, as it is a kick in the gut," Bonard wrote. "Thank you Rockaway mall for showing us what you REALLY feel is most important."

Other merchants and customers have responded to the post, some saying they plan to shop elsewhere this holiday season.

"Boycotting Mall from Thanksgiving until New Years...Been going here since I was a kid and now I take my family to shop here but not this season," one man wrote. "I understand the stress of business today and appreciate the 'can do' attitude but please consider giving greater importance to family values. I hope you can find a way to make this right. I'd prefer to continue shopping here and to continue to be proud of this little neck of the woods..."

What do you think? Would you boycott malls and businesses that force their employees to work on Thanksgiving? Tell us in the comments.


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