Skip to comments.Safeway to Open on Christmas (The unraveling of an American Tradition?)
Posted on 12/11/2004 5:45:15 AM PST by mek1959
Safeway Inc. yesterday said that for the first time, it will open many of its supermarkets on Christmas Day, a move that triggered an angry protest from the union representing the grocer's Washington area employees.
Safeway will become the region's first -- and only -- major supermarket chain to operate stores on Christmas, one of the last holidays observed by U.S. grocers, which now routinely open on Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Since 1870, we've celebrated Christmas as a national holiday. Over the years, this has turned into a day off for most people with the exception of essential personnel. Well, in this area, this seems to be changing.
As a business owner, I can assure you that other retail outlets are paying close attention to this little change. If Safeway announces that this idea was a successful one, watch others adopt the same position in the coming years. When that happens, we'll have to say goodbye to the quiet peaceful no traffic Christmas mornings. The excitment of making sure all the batteries have been bought the day before. The sigh "whew, at least 7-11 is open"!
I know this may not be a big deal to some and some may be glad for this change. I for one am sad about this for I forsee a day when Christmas, in the words of one local talk show host, is just like labor day. No real mystery. No real pause.
Meanwhile, the local Publix is closed on Christmas.
when I have been in Tampa/Largo, I drive around with my wife and say "publix" over and over again...I dont know why though....
I'm with you, it is a sad change.
I am so glad that I got out of retail three years ago. My former company (Kroger) will probably be doing this before long. If I were there I would refuse to work on Christmas.
At 3 times the normal pay, I'd be one of the first to volunteer for the Christmas Day shift.
I used to drive cross country, semi-truck, and working on holidays was pretty much a given. Also when I worked on ranches, holidays what was that? Christmas day for many years I worked, it wasn't until I was about 35 that I actually had that whole day off. If I had been asked to work I did, no questions asked. In the Military you don't have much of a choice either.
I've pulled guard duty, CQ and Duty Officer on every Holiday there is. When I flew for the airlines, I worked all of the holidays at one time or another. Drive around the DC area on Christmas and you'll see many Americans working. Safeway has a right to do what they are going to do.
My wife has worked many a Christmas Day at the hospital. We just schedule around it. No biggie.
Good point. Hospitals never shut down.
Various responses on this thread seem to be geared toward essential personnel .. octors/nurses/military/police/ranch hands/truckers. Retail is quite different. There IS a choice. For one day of the year, to preserve the most traditional holiday of all, it would be nice to see the stores stay closed.
I've noticed, though, that in the DC area, Christmas does seem to have become just another day. 20+ years ago when we would travel on Christmas Day from VA to MD to visit famiy, we OWNED the Beltway ... now it looks like any commuting day.
Sad, just sad.
Thank you. You did a much better job of making my point!
We live in the Frederick County area so it's still pretty quiet - though with a Safeway just around the corner, that might change.
I am horrified Safeway is doing this. I guess I'm shopping at Giant from now on.
Of course at 3x normal pay, the employees aren't going to suffer much. The consumers are, when Safeway management passes on the triple pay to us.
That's the goal!
I don't advise protests or boycotting or whatall, but if you really unhappy, encourage all your friends to stock up the day before and to exercise some restraint on Christmas itself.
These are all private, individual, choices. That's freedom.
I remember that, too, Ed. But look at what the Washington area has become...we are choked with immigrants now, and the roads are impassable all the time from sheer volume. And many of them are Muslims and Hindus who have no interest in Christmas. I think the retailers are catering to them and to the almighty dollar.
How can a union
be angry at a move that
gets employees cash?!
I know lots of folks
for whom an extra day's pay
is a great present!
You're obviously enchanted by the quality of the store and its uncanny ability to have 16 checkout lanes, yet only use three of them.
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