Should stores stay open on Thanksgiving?

Cleveland 3 weeks ago

by Jessie Blaeser

As Black Friday slowly creeps into the evening hours of Thanksgiving, more stores are choosing to stay open on Thanksgiving itself. Some retailers will still close their doors for Thanksgiving, giving employees a chance to spend the day with their families. Still, other shoppers believe that if hospital workers and police officers have to work on Thanksgiving, it’s reasonable to expect retail employees to do the same. Should stores stay open on Thanksgiving?

Stores should prioritize their employees just as much as they do their profits. One is made possible by the other, after all. puts out a list every year of retailers closed on Thanksgiving day. This year’s list includes big names like Costco, Ikea, H&M, Publix and Home Depot. Kudos to these companies for acknowledging a competitive edge on Black Friday sales is not worth taking away employees’ well-earned family time.

But money talks. From a retailer’s perspective, staying open on Thanksgiving could be a competitive advantage that “lasts through the entire holiday shopping season.” According to MoneyTips:

As a retailer, if your competitors are not open on Thanksgiving, you are gaining multiple advantages. You get first crack at serving the Thanksgiving/Black Friday bargain hunters, and are likely to reduce the traffic at your competitor's opening as a result. Increasing sales is one thing, but taking sales away from your competition is another.

Even for customers, it’s more important that retailers prioritize their employees than offer deals sooner than the competition. Plus, MoneyTips points out that staying closed could be in retailers’ best interest despite inevitable competition:

Too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing. Retailers can end up diluting the effect by running too many special sales and staying open too long. Customers may become confused and miss the best sales, deciding that a different retailer provides a better experience.

The argument to end all arguments: Everyone forgets at least one ingredient when preparing their Thanksgiving meal. Some people even forget the turkey!

Thankfully, there are a number of grocery stores and retailers that choose to keep their doors open for just this purpose.

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