Forget MLK, Let's Go Shopping!


Martin Luther King Day should be one of reflection and service, but for stores like the Gap, it’s a chance to clean up with sales. This phenomenon isn’t new, but it might say more about the desperation of the retail industry rather than American disregard of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of tolerance and equal rights.

Other companies like Samsonite, Honda and Hennessy (the latter of which should know better since the bulk of their marketing is aimed at African Americans) all targeted consumers to encourage spending. MLK would’ve wanted it that way.

Not that corporations’ bottom lines care about holidays of any sort. Lest we forget, Black Friday, traditionally held the day after Thanksgiving, was moved up to Thanksgiving in 2013. These corporations interrupted your family dinner so that someone out there could buy a TV at 40 percent off.

Though the move was controversial, it proved a savvy one. Millions of people went shopping on Thanksgiving Day, according to the National Retail Association. Most of those were age 25 to 34. Walmart (WMT) said it saw more than 22 million shoppers on that day.

Nothing’s sacred, but that’s no surprise. Enjoy those khakis, folks.

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