For the most aggressive of Black Friday shoppers, it’s a bummer.
For retail employees, it’s a sigh of relief.
Across the nation, numerous retailers are choosing to keep their doors closed on Thanksgiving Day instead of giving rabid holiday shoppers a first chance at getting a deal.
Ramon Avila, a Ball State University marketing professor and the founding director of the university’s HH Gregg Center for Professional Selling, thinks the break for retail employees is about “boosting morale of weary front-line workers.”
“Over the past few years, we’ve heard a great deal of moaning and groaning by employees who have to come into work while their family is at home, enjoying Thanksgiving,” Avila said in a release. “People simply don’t want to walk away from young children or older relatives on what is supposed to be a very special day in our country.”
43 percentage of shoppers who say they’re being more cautious with spending because of 2016 presidential election uncertainty
In addition, Avila noted the better state of the economy this year. With slightly more consumer confidence, retail employees could face larger crowds on Black Friday than during the past few years. An extra day of rest and relaxation, as well as additional family time, will better prepare them for the craziness and long shifts on Black Friday.
At the same time, some holiday shoppers are uncertain of seasonal spending plans because of the presidential election, according to a National Retail Federation survey.
For many retailers, closing physical store locations means shifting Thanksgiving Day shopping traffic online, said Florida Retail Federation spokesman James Miller. He added that the FRF doesn’t guide stores on holiday-hour decisions but supports the choices they make.
Encouraging online shopping makes sense after the retail trends the FRF saw last year.
“Black Friday last year was the first time we saw more online shopping than at brick and mortars,” Miller said. “We’re seeing a continuation of that where stores are recognizing that they can still gather more sales online and look good for employees by giving them a day off and letting them spend time with their families.”
A number of factors go into staying open or closed on Thanksgiving, including overhead costs and potential return. If retailers can ditch operating expenses while still making money via online shopping, the choice is easy.
6 in 10 plan to buy for themselves, spending an average of $139.61, up 4 percent from last year and marking the second-highest level of personal spending in the survey’s 13-year history
Some local malls and stores haven’t announced their Thanksgiving plans. The Mall at University Town Center will release its full holiday shopping schedule on Tuesday. DeSoto Square mall has yet to announce plans for the week of Thanksgiving and representatives for the mall could not be reached for comment. Target and Wal-Mart also haven’t announced their plans.
Bealls Department Stores will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and remain open until midnight. The stores will reopen at 5 a.m. on Black Friday. Bealls Outlets will only be open on Black Friday, beginning at 7 a.m.
American consumers expect to spend an average of $935.58 during holiday shopping this year, according to a survey conducted by Prosper Insights for the National Retail Federation. They’ll split their time almost evenly between three shopping destinations; department stores, online shopping and discount stores.
“Retailers should prepare for a rush of consumers in the weeks following the presidential election as they get more economic and political certainty and are looking to take advantage of promotions and deals that are too good to pass up,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.
Thanksgiving Day shopping hours
Stores and shopping centers closed on Thanksgiving Day:
Barnes & Noble
Bealls Outlet stores
Crate & Barrel
Designer Shoe Warehouse
Mall of America
Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack
Stores open on Thanksgiving Day:
Bealls Department Stores will be open from 6 p.m. until midnight. The stores will reopen at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.
Ellenton Premium Outlets opens at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and will stay open until 10 p.m. on Black Friday.
Macy’s opens at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day; closing at 2 a.m. on Black Friday morning and reopening at 6 a.m.