Walmart already stepped on Thanksgiving

A mess of fact errors on the giant retailer opening on turkey day

Did you know Walmart is opening earlier than ever this Thanksgiving?

You would if you read stories in the Chicago Tribune, ABC News, Entrepreneur, the Consumerist, the Omaha World-Herald, ThinkProgress (multiple times), The Guardian, CNNMoney, Bloomberg TV, The Huffington Post (multiple times), UPI, International Business Times, the Des Moines Register,, Marketplace, and many more, plus Fox Business and CNBC—before they rewrote them. Even Arkansas Business, which ought to know, says so.

They all say Walmarts will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving—two hours earlier than last year—for “Black Friday” doorbuster sales.

But it’s not true. Walmarts will be open at 6 p.m. or 8 p.m., but they won’t be opening then. Most Walmarts are open all day and night on Thanksgiving and the rest of the year (save Christmas, ironically, the last holdout).

In fact, most Walmarts have been open all day on Thanksgiving for years. What’s new is that Walmart’s Black Friday sales will start at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving this year, up from 8 o’clock last year.

But with outrage growing this year as other retailers push ever further into a once-sacred day, scads of reporters have gotten it flat wrong, reporting that Walmart forcing its workers to leave their family gatherings so people who forgot their sweet potatoes or toilet paper won’t be inconvenienced is something new.

Macy’s and JC Penney and Toys ‘R’ Us et al. are the ones opening ever earlier on Thanksgiving night.

At least Walmart has the open-on-Thanksgiving excuse that it sells essentials like food and medicine.

It will have no excuse, though, for the sure-to-come backlash from greedy customers beating each other up over half-price, Chinese-made goods while their kids eat Thanksgiving dinner at home, alone.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum. Tags: , , , ,