Urge Grocer to Close for Major Holiday

Whole Foods 2

Target: John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market

Goal: Ensure that starting in 2014, all Whole Foods Market stores give employees a day off on Thanksgiving Day.

This recent Thanksgiving sparked a debate over retail stores that now opening on Thursday for early Black Friday sales, forcing many employees to forfeit time with their loved ones in order to be paid a little more money per hour and deal with high traffic holiday stress. While some professionals, such as hospital workers, understandably cannot turn their services off, those in the retail industry should not be forced to work on Thanksgiving Day, especially those working for companies that vocally value employee happiness, such as Whole Foods Market.

Whole Foods Market is a certified organic grocer that values a customer’s shopping experience as much as it does the product. The company proudly spouts seven core values that it says it lives by faithfully; one of these is it supports team member excellence and happiness. With fair health benefits, good wages and a rewarding atmosphere to grow a career in, Whole Foods Market usually lives up to this core value. However, Whole Foods Market has been open on Thanksgiving Day for years. Whole Foods should not require that its employees come to work on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving should be a time for visiting family, relaxing and enjoying good food and company. Many team members working at Whole Foods Market on Thanksgiving Day become overwhelmed, upset about missing family activities and stressed about finishing projects in order to clock out on time and get home to loved ones. These emotions are not conducive to a core value that supports team member happiness.

Whole Foods Market is a major organic grocer that can afford to close every year on Thanksgiving Day. Instead of opening on that Thursday, the grocer could stay open an hour later the week prior and post in advance its closure on Thanksgiving, so all team members may spend the holiday with family. Encourage John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-CEO, to put team members first every day of the year.


Dear John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-CEO,

Recently there has been controversy over major retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day in order to increase Black Friday sales; requiring employees to work for a small increase in hourly pay instead of spend this major holiday with family is not ethical.

Whole Foods Market has opened on Thanksgiving Day for many years. This more often than not induces stress on employees scheduled to work that day; team members often miss family dinners and are pressured to finish projects and service rushed and often difficult customers. This unnecessary stress is not conducive to an important core value of Whole Foods Market: supporting team member excellence and happiness.

Please consider closing for the entirety of Thanksgiving Day, starting in 2014. Staying open for an hour later every day a week prior to that Thursday would help make up for lost sales; the main concern, however, should be the happiness this decision will bring to employees and their families. Whole Foods Market is a major corporation that can afford to close for this important family holiday.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: LoneStarMike via Wikimedia

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