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Economy

Boise Man Getting National Attention Boycotting ‘Black Thursday’ Shopping

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For the past few years Brian Rich has been telling everyone who will listen not to go shopping on Thanksgiving. The credit union marketing coordinator from Boise started a social media campaign in 2011 called Boycott Black Thursday.

“It’s kind of an interesting cause because what we’re doing is asking people to not do anything,” Rich says. “But that’s the core message of the whole movement is just stay home on Thanksgiving so that you can not only celebrate with your family but also reduce the burden on retailers, and then that allows their workers to stay home with their families as well.”

Rich’s campaign stresses the demand side of basic economics. He thinks if enough people stay home on Thanksgiving, there won’t be enough demand and stores won’t find it profitable to stay open.

This year a lot of people have heard Rich’s message. His Facebook page has well over 100,000 followers and he’s been profiled by several national media outlets.

Rich says he’s not against retail or Black Friday sales or even commercialism per se. But he thinks Thanksgiving is the last holiday that is not about shopping.

“Are we going to let it just be consumed entirely by Black Friday sales and have it turn into this big, sad spectacle and have that become the new normal for Thanksgiving?” he asks. “I think the vast majority of people we’ve heard from say ‘absolutely not, that’s horrible.’ But they have to think about it like that before it really registers and they think ‘this is a bad thing and I’m not going to take any part in this.’”

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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