PRO: Extended hours good for employees, sales

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Nov. 18, 2012 at 5:18 a.m.
Updated Nov. 19, 2012 at 5:19 a.m.

The early start of Black Friday sales at Sears, Wal-Mart and Target have sparked online petitions and prospective boycotts from sympathetic protesters across the nation.

But a Sears employee said he welcomes the extra commission, even though he will cut his Thanksgiving dinner short.

"I don't like it too much, but my paycheck will look better in the end," said Sears sales associate Josh R. Vasquez.

Vasquez is one of the few Sears employees who gets paid commission for each sale he makes.

The 23-year-old part-time college student said he specializes in the day-to-day utilities, washing machines, refrigerators and dishwashers.

Vasquez said he expects them to go like hot cakes during their Black Friday sale.

For example, the price for a refrigerator regularly priced at $4,300 is typically reduced to $2,300 during the sale, said Vasquez.

As of Tuesday, Vasquez said he had 10 to 15 different clients set up for appointments on the big day.

Home appliance rival Best Buy, just a few steps away from Sears in the Victoria Mall, doesn't plan on opening until midnight.

"Black Friday is my favorite day to work," said Best Buy's home sales supervisor J.R. Bauer. "It goes by fast."

Bauer said the gadget company's new CEO sent out an email earlier this month saying the store would not open early, encouraging employees to be with their families before the big day.

"I'm glad we aren't starting sooner. Midnight is a good time," Bauer said. "When are Wal-Mart and Sears going to draw the line?"

As of Friday afternoon, an online petition had received 230,002 signatures against Target for putting a crimp in their employees' holiday plans.

The online petition was news to employee Cody Martinez, who said he doesn't have plans to sign.

The 21-year-old employee is scheduled to work a 10-hour shift starting Thanksgiving evening.

As a young, single worker, Martinez said he isn't losing much because of his extended hours Thursday.

His mother is making a turkey lunch for him before work.

"I'll be full and fat on turkey when I go into work," Martinez said.

Economic analyst Ray Perryman said the final quarter for retail companies commonly generates 35 to 45 percent of sales for the year.

Stores are choosing to open a day earlier in response to competition and changing consumer preferences, he said.

"Consumers are enticed by the aggressive sales offered at this time," Perryman said. "If consumers decide they don't want to do it, the stores will adapt."

CON: Holiday sales infringe on valuable family time, click HERE



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