More than half of Americans don’t think stores should be open for business on Thanksgiving Day. More than another quarter don’t care whether stores are open, and just 16% think stores should be open on the holiday.
As of Monday morning, 56 retailers, including some of the country’s largest and best-known companies, have confirmed that stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. The list includes Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST), Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s (NYSE: WMT) Sam’s Club stores.
The data are based on a survey by retail industry researchers at BestBlackFriday.com who expect the total number to top 75 this year.
The primary reason that retailers give for closing on Thanksgiving Day is to give employees an opportunity to spend the holiday with their families.
Another reason stores may be more willing to close is that store traffic has been decreasing on both Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. By remaining open on Thanksgiving, retailers are pulling Black Friday sales forward, not generating more store traffic and sales.
In large part that’s due to online shopping. Americans don’t seem to mind doing a bit of shopping online. Online spending on Thanksgiving Day last year was up 11.5% to $1.93 billion, while store visits declined 1%.
One estimate calls for total holiday sales to reach $1.04 trillion to $1.05 trillion between November and January, up around 4% compared with 2016 sales. Online sales are forecast to jump 18% to 21%, to $111 billion to $114 billion.
Just over 25% of Americans began shopping for the 2017 holiday season in September. Another 13% expect to begin this month. Only about a quarter will wait until December to begin their holiday shopping.
A full list of the 56 stores that have already announced the holiday closures is available at the BestBlackFriday.com website. The list will be updated as more stores announce their plans.