Retail

These Retailers Will Be Closed for Thanksgiving

The trend among major retailers has been to be open ever more hours over the Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend. It has been viewed as a way to pump up revenue early in the holiday season. The trend did lead to tremendous foot traffic. It also raised the issue of whether retailers should ask low-paid employees to leave their families to staff the stores. Retailers additionally used the weekend to push online sales, and the day after the Thanksgiving weekend became known a Cyber Monday, the largest online shopping day each year.

Last year, Thanksgiving hours were upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that change has caused retailers to rethink what they will do this year. Some of America’s largest store chains have already decided not to open on Thanksgiving.

The first major retailer to announce it would be closed on Thanksgiving was Target, the largest big-box retailer after Walmart. It made its announcement in January. Target has 1,909 stores, which is a modest number of locations compared to other leading retailers.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer will be closed on Thanksgiving as well. It has 4,743 locations in the United States. One reason Walmart’s sales may not be affected as much is that it is generally considered the second-largest e-commerce retailer after Amazon.com. Of course, Amazon has no locations to close.

The latest retailer to say it will close on Thanksgiving is Best Buy, America’s largest consumer electronics chain. Best Buy has 981 stores and has been shrinking since its location count peaked in 2013 at 1,503.

Which stores may announce Thanksgiving closures next? The NRF Retail 100, the 100 largest retailers in the United States, is a good place to start a search. Costco is the nation’s fourth-largest retailer. Home improvement retailers Home Depot and Lowe’s are near the top of the list.

Another set of candidates are department stores, led by Macy’s, Nordstrom and Ross Stores. AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile have thousands of locations among them. Finally, one of the most trafficked stores during the holidays is the Apple retailer locations.

Now that three huge retailers have set a precedent, watch much of the industry follow their lead.

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