LifeWay among stores honoring Thanksgiving

NASHVILLE (BP) –- The ever-escalating commercialization of Thanksgiving will get no support from LifeWay Christian Stores.

LifeWay is among retail outlets maintaining a commitment to give employees -- and customers -- the day off.

"Just as we do every Sunday, we believe it is important to set aside Thanksgiving for our employees to spend time with family and friends thanking God," said Tim Vineyard, the vice president of LifeWay Christian Stores.

"We hope our being closed will encourage families to enjoy Thanksgiving together and find respite from the busyness of the holiday season," Vineyard said.

Apparently at least half of Americans agree. A nationwide survey of U.S. consumers found 50 percent say shopping hours on Thanksgiving Day are a bad idea that detracts from the traditional celebration. The research from LoyaltyOne, a customer analytics firm, found only 33 percent believe open stores are beneficial.

A growing number of those Americans opposed to shopping starting on Thursday are making their feelings known. An online petition started by a Target employee asking the fourth-largest U.S. retailer to give employees the day off has garnered over 90,000 signatures. Over 100,000 people have liked the Facebook group "Boycott Black Thursday."

LifeWay, instead of opening its 186 locations on Thanksgiving Day, will have special sales surrounding the holiday, including a traditional Black Friday sale on Nov. 28 beginning at 6 a.m. and continuing Saturday, Nov. 29, with stores opening at 9 a.m.

That seems to work just fine for most shoppers. Despite the push to start the sales earlier and open on Thanksgiving, most do the bulk of their purchases later. Deloitte University's annual holiday survey found 65 percent of consumers plan to do the bulk of their shopping after Thanksgiving.

Lonnie Wilkey, editor of the Tennessee Baptist & Reflector newsjournal, commended LifeWay for its stance by noting in a blog, "They have resisted the urge to engage in 'retail wars' on Thanksgiving Day. ... May more large retail companies follow suit.

"Avoid the temptation to shop on Thanksgiving Day and spend it with your family. You can 'shop until you drop' on Black Friday," Wilkey wrote.

For more information of LifeWay Christian Stores holiday hours and sales, visit LifeWay Christian Stores are operated by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Aaron Earls is a writer for LifeWay Christian Resources.
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