BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Some big box retailers are kicking off Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving, but not here in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts is one of three states that prohibit businesses from opening on both Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Many Massachusetts shoppers choose to spend their money in neighboring states like New York and New Hampshire to snag Black Friday discounts one day early.
“When there are those sales that could be made, you know those – we feel that those merchants that want to open should have that ability to do so,” said Ryan Kearney of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.
The Boston-based organization told 22News these antiquated laws make it difficult for local businesses to compete with not just neighboring states, but online sales. These “Blue Laws” date all the way back to the late 1700’s. For years, state lawmakers have tried to update these laws to give shoppers a head start on their Black Friday shopping with no success.
Senate President Stan Rosenberg said he likes the law the way it is now. He doesn’t want people to lose sight of what the holidays are meant to be about.
“I prefer that people be able to be with their families and friends on these holidays. It’s a very fast paced world we live in; life is all too short.”
Until then, Massachusetts shoppers will just have to wait until after Thanksgiving to purchase those big ticket items.
Two other New England states have similar laws prohibiting businesses from opening on Thanksgiving Day – Rhode Island and Maine.