Thursday, November 15, 2007

An extra day of profit

This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 22, the earliest I ever remember it. The date of Thanksgiving has some significance to me since this way the day on which my family immigrated to the United States. Back in 1978, Thanksgiving fell on November 23, and I do not remember Thanksgiving ever coming earlier. It probably did at some point during the past 29 years--even with leap years, I would think that the fourth Thursday of November should happen at least once every 7+1+7=15 years--but I don't remember this ever being the case.

The good news for retailers is that with the Friday after Thanksgiving traditionally marking the "serious" start of the holiday shopping season, this year, people will have a longer time for shopping this year. Legend has it that former President Dwight D. Eisenhower once tried to move up Thanksgiving one week to allow for a longer holiday shopping period. I am not sure how successful he was at this--that is, whether he actually succeeded or not--and, as I understand it, a lot of people resented this seeming "commercial" motivation for messing with a day marked by a long tradition. Others may take a different perspective. In an admittedly different context, an earlier President had expressed his strong approval of certain people "in the way of progress."

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