Sears isn't the first place to be open on Thanksgiving. After all, there are several grocery stores open Thanksgiving as well. The difference from my experience? Grocery stores aren't open ridiculously early the next day demanding the same employees come back for another day of heck. Also, many grocery store workers get paid time and a half or double time to work a holiday. From what I know, many grocery stores offer the OPTION to work Turkey Day and generally it's more voluntary with a financial incentive. From what I know of retail (a whole fricken lot), Sears offers no incentive outside of "not getting fired" to work that day. You see, Sears and Kmart merged under the direction of Julian Day. Julian is a snarky little brit who thinks he can outsmart retail work horses when turning around a company. Except, Julian Day doesn't really turn around the company. He cuts "overhead" (read: pay) to insanely low levels and a high turnover rate quickly ensues.
When Julian Day took over Radioshack, I worked my first New Years Day ever. EVER. I had already worked the day before. That year, I got off two days during that season. Christmas and Thanksgiving. And while I did get the actual DAY off, the days before and after, I worked literally 16 hour shifts. I only got time and a half once i went over my 40 hours. Thanks to what I call "creative breaks" (when your a-hole manager or district manager makes you come in early for a couple of hours then break for 3 hours midday), I didn't get very much $$$ for all that effort and schedule restriction. Julian day makes 8 million dollars a year. By the time I finally found a replacement job from Radioshack, my pay had been cut three times and I made $26,000 a year to work 65 hours per week as a manager AFTER commission. I made $7.69 per hour by the time I quit. When I started, I made at times between $30-$40 per hour with my commission. The pay was changed so dramatically, that I was maxing out $7.69 per hour after commission in the ultra expensive DC suburb. Julian Day? DOWN. RIGHT. EVIL.
Retail employees matter. They have families too. Some people are only good at retail, and lets face it, not everyone is meant to be a lawyer or doctor. Why should they be punished? Don't they deserve family time too? As you so selfishly waltz into a store on New Years or Easter because you are "bored", remember, those people probably wouldn't be bored and are in much need of a break. Instead of providing incentive for retailers to shamelessly abuse their employees who may not have other employment options, you should vote with your wallet. Make those companies lose money for opening on days people should have to spend with their employees. Retail employees nearly always work weekends, days and nights, and on average get only 1-2 holidays per year to spend with families. By shopping at Sears on Thanksgiving, you'll be saying that it's okay. That they really don't deserve that time off. Sears sucks anyway, it's not like they are selling anything other people won't be on black friday. Just wait 16 hours for goodness sake!
It's you, the shoppers that control how retail treats their employees. You decide whether to support good retailers or bad ones. Be a smart shopper and remember that on your days off, these people are still working like dogs because you are "bored". Spend time with your family instead of satisfying your need to shop. That's what matters.