With more stores than ever before choosing to open for at least part of Thanksgiving day, there has been a lot of public response to those merchants who will be doing business on the most American of holidays. While many people like the idea of shopping on Thanksgiving, merchants who are opening are getting some backlash, as they probably expected.
As a supplement to our rundown of eight major retailers that will be opening on Thanksgiving, we thought we’d take a look at eight other retailers that will remain closed.
The largest chain by far that will not be open on Thanksgiving day is Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST). The store has regularly been cited as an example of a company that isn’t ruining the holiday for its workers. That may well be true, but the store is also looking out for its own bottom line. Costco’s profits come largely from membership fees. Keeping the stores open just adds to costs without raising membership numbers much.
For example, in the quarter ending last November 25th, Costco’s membership fees totaled $511 million and the company’s quarterly profit came in at $639 million. Nearly 80% of profit came from membership fees. Besides, Costco doesn’t do doorbuster sales or similar promotions.
And while we don’t know exactly how membership fees affect BJ’s Wholesale Club, it’s not a bad bet that the fees play a significant role in the stores’ profit as well. BJ’s has been privately held since 2011 when private equity firms Leonard Green & Partners and CVC Capital Partners acquired the company for around $2.8 billion. BJ’s operates 201 stores, mostly in the northeastern U.S.
Another major company that won’t be opening its 261 stores on Thanksgiving is Nordstrom’s Inc. (NYSE: JWN). Nordstrom’s big annual sales event comes in July and it is a bigger profit-maker for the store than is Black Friday. Staying open would likely add little to the company’s coffers and the backlash from consumers is probably just not worth the aggravation to Nordstrom’s. The store’s upscale image would also likely take a hit from being one of the mob open on the holiday.
Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST) has said that its more than 1,100 stores will remain closed on Thanksgiving, as has The TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE: TJX), owner of the TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, and other retail brands. Another off-price retailer, Burlington Stores Inc. (NYSE: BURL), owner of the Burlington Coat Factory stores, will also remain closed on the holiday.
For the off-price stores remaining closed could at least partly due to a determination that they have little, if anything, to gain in the way of sales by being open. By keeping their promotional offers on hold until the early hours of Black Friday, they could stand out a bit more from the crowd that will be open on Thanksgiving. These stores could see a bump in sales from people who refuse to shop on the holiday, and will vote with their feet and their wallets on Friday.
One more large privately held chain won’t be open on the holiday. P.C. Richard & Son, an electronics retailer in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania area, will not open its 68 stores on Thanksgiving.