Visitors to Berlin can be somewhat overwhelmed by the nightlife. The German capital is fairly laid back when it comes to licensing laws, which means that nightclubs are often open for days at a time. It’s possible to go to a club on a Friday evening, and you wouldn’t have to leave until Monday morning (or even the afternoon, with some places). This is perhaps why the city has developed a reputation for some of the best nightlife in the world. The city isn’t immune to licensing laws and regulations, since the vast majority of stores are closed on a Sunday, which is a result of the influence of the Church on the development of the city, over many generations. All countries and cities have their own little idiosyncrasies when it comes to the opening and closing hours of stores, and this is something that can confuse a visitor, who might have never heard of the national holiday that means they have nowhere to buy bread. While workers might appreciate having a day off, national and local holidays can greatly affect customer behaviour and profits.
It’s Hardly a Surprise!
A national holiday is hardly something that’s introduced with regularity, much to the disappointment of students and workers all over the country. They have existed for generations, and the primary holidays (New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day) are deeply ingrained in the publics’ psyche. As they reach a certain age, the population becomes aware of the these holidays on their daily life and routines and so it’s not especially complicated to know that there will be closures when it comes to stores and other services, and to make arrangements accordingly. There are state-by-state variations, which can catch tourists off guard.
The Cost of a Holiday
A national or state holiday can quite logically impact on revenue, since no business is conducted on this day. Such a holiday isn’t as costly for US companies and organizations as they can be for other countries, since the US is one of the few developed countries in the world that does not guarantee paid leave. The European Union, Australia and New Zealand all legally require employees to be given a minimum of 20 paid leave days each year, plus additional paid public holidays, which can add anywhere between five and thirteen paid holidays each year.
Shopping and Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving has become the signifier of the major shopping period of the year. The lead up to Thanksgiving is taken over by preparation for the holiday itself, with the acquisition of all the necessary items to make a delicious feast for the family. As soon as the turkey bones have been stripped of meat, a new, more aggressive shopping instinct kicks in, courtesy of the impending Black Friday. Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, is now the more or less official kickoff for the Christmas shopping season, and retailers offer exceptional bargains on this day, leading to customer frenzy and even incidents of violence as people fight to get their hands on as many bargains as possible.
A day of extreme shopping following a national holiday seems quite logical- it allows consumers to rest up before the bargain-hunting season commences. Since a huge number of national retailers are now open 24 hours a day, it can almost be refreshing to have a handful of days each year when the credit card stays in your wallet. It probably needs the rest too…