As if sub-par wages and repetitive work wasn't grueling enough, McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) has - ahem - "asked" its franchise owners to open on Christmas. Horrible? It gets worse. The company won't be offering those workers any additional pay for coming in and working on the nationally recognized holiday. The salt in the wound is that MCD waited until one week to make the request of all those employees, apparently oblivious to the fact that Christmas plans are made more than a week in advance.
The decision and delivery of the request may well earn McDonald's 2012's un-coveted "Corporate Scrooge of the Year" award, but it's not the only company that's asking employees to go above and beyond the call of duty [even though corporate offices for MCD will certainly be closed on Christmas]. What do other names like Dunkin Brands Group Inc. (NASDAQ:DNKN), Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD), CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS), and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) expect from their workers on what's arguably the biggest holiday of the year. You might be surprised.
Contrary to popular belief, Wal-Mart Stores are not open on Christmas day. The world's biggest retailer certainly asked quite a bit of workers by opening at 8 pm on Thanksgiving day (though a few never closed at all), but the company is letting store employees have time off for Christmas. Wal-Mart will reopen on the 26th, presumably at early hours. Target stores are following suit.
Drug stores like Rite Aid Corporation and CVS Caremark Corporation will be open on Christmas day. Last year, Rite Aid stores kept regular operating hours, and appear to be planning on the same this year. Most CVS Caremark stores were open from 10 am to 8 pm on Christmas day last year. Walgreens is opening too, with comparable hours.
The real surprises come from places that are rarely part of the "open on Christmas day" discussion.... Dunkin Brands Group, and Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX). Apparently, consumers will want coffee and pastries on Christmas, early in the day anyway. Last year, Dunkin' Donuts (the trade name for Dunkin Brands Group) opened at 6 am, and closed at noon. Most Starbucks opened at 7 am and closed at 3pm on Christmas Day 2011, and are expected to keep similar hours this year.
In that opened-or-closed light, McDonalds is no more of a Scrooge than Starbucks, Dunkin Brands, CVS Caremark, or Rite Aid, but still... to ask one week before the day all those employees were expecting to have off? Bah humbug indeed.