Here’s a little twist on Massachusetts Blue Laws. While they’ll keep all of Staples’s in-state stores closed on Thanksgiving, there’s one major Bay State location they don’t apply to: the Framingham corporate headquarters.
Across most of the rest of the country, Staples is opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night (because nothing says “Merry Christmas’’ like office supplies!), which means some employees at the chain’s “home office’’ will have to work, too.
“At Staples, we will have a select number of home office support staff working on Thanksgiving,’’ Staples spokesperson Carrie McElwee told Boston.com.
McElwee did not respond to repeated questions about the number of workers who would be in the office that night, or the types of functions they might provide. Back-end tech support workers and sales analysts, taking in and processing data as it comes in from across the country, would be plausible roles in need of filling on Thanksgiving night.
Staples’s in-store employees in Massachusetts may not have to work on turkey day, but that doesn’t mean they’ll have it easy: come Black Friday, they’ll join their corporate brethren as Staples stores open from midnight to 3 a.m., close for four hours, and re-open at 7.
The situation isn’t unique to Staples. Maine-based L.L. Bean is another chain with pre-midnight store openings whose headquarters are in a Blue Laws state. Nobody comes to work at corporate headquarters during the holiday, according to a spokesperson for the company. Staff at L.L. Bean’s three Maine call centers, however, do work—handling catalog orders, and providing assistance for online shoppers. Employees receive extra pay to work holidays, so there are usually more volunteers to work the holiday than there are available shifts, the spokesperson said.
Different retail chains seem to approach the headquarters question differently. Converse, which has a Massachusetts headquarters and some retail outlets across the country, is opening one store, in New Jersey, on Thanksgiving night. The North Andover headquarters won’t open Thursday night, according to a spokesperson.