While we slow down later today to begin reuniting with friends and family and contemplate all there is to be thankful for, retailers race to compete in light of a brazen new strategy to further capitalize on the Black Friday weekend by opening doors on Thanksgiving night.

Early discussions on the topic show more criticism than celebration, yet retailers are suggesting this is in response to customer demand. This begs the question: Are these retailers breaking tradition or breaking out?

There is clearly a population of consumers that demand and will prioritize a hunt for the best possible deal, as evidenced by the campers already waiting outside of stores. So as one retailer tips in favor of adding hours of raced shopping to this revenue-rich weekend, others are reportedly forced to do the same to level market share.

This arguably creates competition among consumers too, as sale items are limited, and may consequentially leave a few seats empty around the family table this year and onward.

Still, retailers ought to remember that there is also mindshare at stake in the court of public opinion. As we’ve outlined in our Breakout Brand strategy, sustaining an emotional connection with customers drives brand loyalty and sales. This happens by putting the customers’ needs first.

Therefore, retailers should not ignore their large amount of customers who would rather keep Thanksgiving for quality down time. Cyber Monday and other online deals are key marketing tools that retailers are leveraging to reach out to this segment, and we might predict other stay-at-home themed campaigns in the future as the extended Black Friday weekend becomes the norm.

Whatever your choice as a consumer may be, that seems to be the point.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!