Last Updated 31 Jan 2023

Do Stores Really Need to Open on Thanksgiving?

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The holidays are starting and retailers are busy. Many people are asking "Do stores really need to be open on Thanksgiving?" Let's face it: the promotional competition for black Friday sales will be fierce (Forbes). Retailers are getting desperate to attract customers during the holidays (Forbes). So, should retailers be opening on thanksgiving? Is this fair to the people that have to work this day? Does the retailer financially benefit from being open on a holiday?

According to an article in the Sun Sentinal, Gary Stein, "There must be a market for it, because stores wouldn't open if they didn't make money. As for the employees who have to work on Thanksgiving, they probably get time with their family before going to work. And many will get holiday pay. Most employees will be thankful just to have a job, holiday or not". That, I would never agree with this. I do believe people would be thankful that they have a job. Most employees who work retail give up nights and weekends to keep the business running. Most retailers use to be closed 3 holidays out of the year. Two of these holidays are regligous. I honestly don't believe that one day will cost retailer millions. This will then give employees a full day to enjoy the day with their families.

Meanwhile, let's consider the pros and cons of a stores staying opening on Thanksgiving. According to Money Tips the pros include: more earlier sales, competitive advantage. Yes, they do benefit from the extra sales and a jump start to the holiday shopping. These do appeal to the bargain hunters. As for the cons which include: Employees unrested, sales are fatigue, bad press/imagine problems ( Most retailers need to keep in mind the earlier they open the more likely the employees are not in a good mood to be there. In return, it can bring bad customer service. Sales can get over whelming for customer. Customers may become confused and missed the best sales deciding that a different retailer provides a better experience (

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Over the last three years there has been a lot of surveys and petitions sign to keep stores closed on thanksgiving. In 2015, many retailers like REI decided to close thanksgiving. Target and JCPennys, Macy, and Best Buy all plan to open on thanksgiving ( As for Cherry Hill Mall, which I currently work in, decided to do something different. They opened at 6pm to Midnight on Thanksgiving, it wasn't mandatory to be open. Disney took a different approached we opened at 8 and closed at 12.

So do retailer benefit from opening? "Ultimately, if you look over the course of the holiday selling season, the fact the stores are opening on Thanksgiving as opposed to Black Friday doesn't lead to increased sales," says Howard Feller, a Partner at MMG Advisors, an investment bank specializing in retail and fashion( CNN Money). If anything, opening earlier and earlier has reinforced to consumers that they might get better deals if they wait, Feller says. Promotions no longer feel exclusive (CNN Money). I do think that giving us the employee time off will benefit the retailer more. I was well rested and was able to give the best customer service.

Work citied

  1. Sun Sentinal, Gary Stein, Sunday Dec 6 2014, "Should stores be open thanksgiving"
  2. "Pros and Cons: Should Retailers Stay Open Thanksgiving?", 05 Nov. 2015. Web. 07 Dec. 2015.
  3. Loeb, Walter. "Do Stores Really Need Open on Thanksgiving Day?" Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 06 Nov. 2015. Web. 07 Dec. 2015.

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