17th Century law alters retailers’ early Black Friday openings

Massachusetts stores won’t open at midnight

Old laws, dating back to the 17th Century, dictate that employees in Massachusetts may not work at all on Thanksgiving. The laws, called blue laws, throw a wrench in the plans of many retailers—such as Target, Walmart and Best Buy—which planned earlier openings than usual for the 2011 Black Friday.

The argument goes: Because employees can’t start working until the clock strikes midnight on Nov. 25, they won’t have enough time to prepare their stores for midnight openings, as many retailers are planning at their locations around the country.


Cathleen Flahardy

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