Traditions die hard, but it when comes to Americans leaving family and turkey to head to the mall on Thanksgiving, it's a terrible idea for those aged 55 and older (16 percent approve) but a "great" idea for about half of those polled aged 18-34, according to a national survey from Loyalty One, reports Time.
And another poll, from Offers.com, has 33 percent of that same 18-34 group planning to shop on Thanksgiving. That number increases to 51 percent for 35-54 and drops to 30 percent for those older than 55. The comparison is not simple, though, as the Offers poll combined in-store and online purchases. In terms of shaking up holiday tradition, there's a huge difference between battling shoppers at the mall while the turkey is still warm and Uncle Charley has barely gotten drunk, and checking out an Amazon.com sale on your iPhone at 11:30 PM.
"So it would seem as if all of the retailers that insist on being open on Thanksgiving are doing so to an outsized degree to play up to millennials, the all-important shopping demographic that’s 80 million strong and expected to account for 30 percent of all retail sales by 2020," the Time story said. "Following this idea through, if the hundreds of thousands of Americans who hate the idea of consumerism encroaching on Thanksgiving and have pledged to not shop on the holiday are looking for something to blame other than plain old greed on the part of retailers, it would be easy to point the finger at millennials. After all, as many 'Black Thursday' boycotters have pointed out, the stores wouldn’t be open on Thanksgiving if no one showed up to shop that day."
But it's not quite that simple. First, millennials are more likely to shop on other days as well, so it may simply be that this group loves to shop and the day at issue doesn't have much of an impact.
The story points out that this age group is less likely to own homes and to have started their own families "therefore they’re less likely than older groups to host Thanksgiving or feel like the day must remain a sacred one devoted exclusively to family time. If anything, many members of Gen Y—who have always lived in a world with 24/7 access to shopping and deals, thanks to Amazon.com and e-retail—are probably more than ready to ditch their families for some portion of Thanksgiving when the day’s sales beckon," the story said.