In years past, Black “Friday” started early on – well, Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). Over the years, it has crept earlier and earlier (from 4 am to 2 am to midnight on Thursday itself). Among the retailers who have now pushed that opening well into Thanksgiving itself are Kmart, J.C. Penney, Toys R Us and Walmart. But that doesn’t mean everyone is making workers skip Thanksgiving dinner and report for duty a day early.
At least 13 major U.S. retailers have opted to stay closed on Thanksgiving. In various public statements, those businesses have cited the dubious benefits of opening on Thursday as well as the importance of preserving this national holiday for employees and customers alike.
Some stores that have joined the so-called “war on Thanksgiving” claim that they’re merely responding to customer demand, and trying to stay competitive in the face of fierce pressure from other retailers that have decided to open on Thursday. Holiday shopping season is a make-it-or-break-it window for many retailers, and stores hope to increase sales by adding get one more day to this lucrative period.
Still, the “War on Thanksgiving” has come under fierce criticism from those who believe the holiday should be preserved from commercialization, and argue that all employees deserves a day off. Other business analysts questioned whether letting shoppers in on Thanksgiving really improved holiday sales at all.
Bill Martin, the director of ShopperTrak, an agency that analyzes shopping trends in malls, said he questions whether opening on Thanksgiving really helps overall holiday sales at all. “Thursday is simply selling the stuff at the expense of Black Friday,” Martin said.
So who has decided to allow workers to stay home on the Thanksgiving holiday? Here’s who MarketWatch has identified:
Opens at 9 a.m. on Black Friday: In a recent press release, Costco spokeswoman Bev Akada said “Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families. Nothing more complicated than that.” Not only do they wait until Friday to launch the holiday shopping season; they also spare their employees from having to come in at 2am to prepare for opening: Costco doesn’t open until 9am that day!
Most stores open at 7 a.m. on Black Friday, with some at 5 a.m. Colleen Beauregard, a TJX Companies spokeswoman, claimed that “We consider ourselves an associate-friendly company.”
3. Barnes & Noble
Store hours vary on Black Friday. As the company stated on its website:
“We will be closed Thanksgiving Day, November 27 so that our booksellers can be with their family and friends.” Thanks B&N!
Opens at midnight on Black Friday. Spokeswoman Jackie Smith told HuffPost in an email:
“We believe it’s the right decision not only for our employees, but also for our customers. Enjoy this time with your loved ones and we’ll see you on Black Friday.” Hmmm, midnight is still pretty early! So much for sleeping off that turkey dinner!
5. T.J. Maxx
Most stores open at 7 a.m. on Black Friday. Colleen Beauregard, TJX Companies spokeswoman, told HuffPost in an email:
“We are pleased to give our Associates the time to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.”
6. Neiman Marcus
Opens at 8 a.m. on Black Friday. As the company spokeswoman Ginger Reeder explained: “We hope our associates enjoy the time with family and friends.”
7. Burlington Coat Factory
Black Friday hours vary by store. A Burlington spokesperson told ThinkProgress.
“All Burlington locations will remain closed on Thanksgiving so that our associates and customers can spend the special holiday with their loved ones.”
Black Friday hours vary by store. As the company holiday slogan has quipped now iconic Nordstrom spokesperson told Mental Floss:
“We just like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time.”
Opens at 8 a.m. on Black Friday. Julie Bull, coordinator of investor relations at Dillard’s, us in an email: “We choose to remain closed on Thanksgiving in longstanding tradition of honoring of our customers’ and associates’ time with family.”
Black Friday hours vary by location, but all stores will open by at least 8 a.m. A REI spokesperson confirmed that stores will be closed on Thanksgiving – and if you’d rather than go hiking that day than stay home to eat turkey, REI will support that too!
11. American Girl
Black Friday hours vary by location. Susan Jevens, American Girl spokeswoman, told us why they aren’t trying to shove dolls down children’s throats right after they swallow the pumpkin pie: “Our stores have never been open on Thanksgiving, so this is not a new decision for us,” she stated.
12. Sam’s Club
Stores open at 7 a.m. on Black Friday. Tara Raddohl, a Sam’s Club spokeswoman, stated that they are simply responded to the wishes of their customers: “Based on member feedback, we have elected to close our clubs Thanksgiving Day.”
Black Friday hours vary by store. A Patagonia spokesperson kept it short and sweet: “It’s a holiday – we’re closed!”