by Katie Kreider
Rep. Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart, pre-filed a bill Dec. 4 that would forbid retail shops from starting “Black Friday” deals on Thanksgiving day.
Roorda dubbed the bill the “Thanksgiving Family Protection Act,” which would seek to keep families out of the shopping malls and back at the dining room table. Roorda said he thinks “Black Friday” shopping can wait until the holiday has come to a close.
Certain types of stores such as restaurants, gas stations and drug stores could remain open during Thanksgiving under Roorda’s bill.
“I think people will wait until midnight on Thanksgiving and everyone can open their doors at the same time,” Roorda said. “We won’t have this leap-frogging that goes on with stores trying to out-do each other and approaching further and further into Thanksgiving day.”
David Overfelt, president of the Missouri Retailers Association, said this bill would do little to keep families from getting out of the house after dinner.
“Consumers are doing a number of things after they get together with their families. They go to movies–that’s been a tradition for decades,” Overfelt said. “To single-out certain stores I think is misguided.”
Overfelt also said that if this bill is passed, consumers would shop on the Internet rather than in stores.