Special Report

10 Stores Open On Thanksgiving

 Holiday sales make up the lion’s share of annual revenue for most U.S. retailers, many of which depend heavily on holiday shoppers to meet their yearly goals. American consumers spent $616.1 billion last holiday season, up 4% from the previous year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

In recent years, retailers have increasingly diverged on when the holiday shopping season should start. For many stores looking for an edge in the ultra-competitive retail landscape, kicking off the holiday season on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is too late. These retailers have decided to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Others, however, have pushed opening hours back. This could be a business decision, or — as many such retailers state publicly — that they feel it is unfair to both employees and shoppers to open on a day that is meant for giving thanks and celebrating with family. These stores, like a majority of retailers, have decided to remain closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Click here to see the stores that will remain open on Thanksgiving.

Companies that will be open on Thanksgiving include some of the nation’s largest retailers, including Target (NYSE: TGT) and Macy’s (NYSE: M). Department stores such as Sears (NASDAQ: SHLD), Kmart, J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP), and Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) will also be welcoming customers on Thanksgiving Day. Some specialty retailers will also be opening early, including The Gap (NYSE: GPS) and Toys “R” Us. For Toys “R” Us, the holiday season is especially important. The fourth quarter, which includes holiday shopping, has accounted for 43%, 42%, and 40% of its annual sales in each of the last three fiscal years.

For some retailers, there is simply less at stake during the holiday season. Many of these will remain closed on Thanksgiving Day. Home improvement superstores, for example, may not feel the same pressure to be open on Thanksgiving because, unlike most retailers, the holiday season does not represent their peak sales period. For companies such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, the spring is usually the busiest time of the year.

Other retailers have decided not to open on Thanksgiving Day, stating publically at least that they prefer to give employees the day off. Both Barnes and Noble (NYSE: BKS) and the TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX) — parent of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods — have made public statements to that effect. Even some specialty retailers that largely rely on the holiday season have decided not to open on Thanksgiving. These include GameStop (NYSE: GME), for which — like Toys “R” Us — the holiday season accounts for a disproportionate share of sales.

Based on public statements made by major retailers, 24/7 Wall St. identified the companies opening stores on Thanksgiving Day. In order to be considered, a company had to be one of the top 100 retailers by U.S. sales, as measured by the National Retail Federation (NRF). Additionally, we only considered companies with a broad nationwide presence. We excluded restaurant companies such as McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD), and grocery stores such as Publix. Of the companies that met these criteria, we reviewed the 10 largest by U.S. retail sales provided by the NRF. Company headquarters and other financial information came from the company itself or financial documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

These are the stores remaining open for Thanksgiving.

10. Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO)
> Headquarters: Charlotte, North Carolina
> 2014 U.S. retail sales: $10,489,000

Like a number of other U.S. retail companies, Family Dollar Stores will open their doors on Thanksgiving for shoppers looking to get a jump on Black Friday deals. Most companies on this list have elected to open their stores in early evening, but Family Dollar Stores will open at 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving. A number of deals will be available only on Thanksgiving. The discount store’s long-time rival, Dollar Tree, announced in July it has completed its acquisition of Family Dollar Stores.

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9. J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP)
> Headquarters:
Plano, Texas
> 2014 retail sales: $12,184,000

Thanksgiving Day’s opening hour at J.C. Penney Co. Inc. has been creeping earlier over the past few years, from 8 p.m. two years ago to 5 p.m. last year to 3 p.m. this year. The troubled retailer is offering a 68% average discount rate on this four-day weekend, according to WalletHub, the highest of any major retailer. Penney’s 72-page Black Friday ad flyer includes everything from 3-speed turntables to baby clothes. The Thursday sale is available online all day.

8. The Gap (NYSE: GPS)
> Headquarters:
San Francisco, California
> 2014 retail sales: $13,071,000

The Gap Inc. operates stores under the brands Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, and Athleta brands. Old Navy stores are scheduled to open at 4 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving Day, and the store is offering 50% off on all inventory for both Thursday and Friday shoppers. Saturday shoppers can expect 40% discounts, and online shoppers are being wooed with 40% discounts on Sunday and Cyber Monday.

7. Dollar General (NYSE: DG)
> Headquarters:
Goodlettsville, Tennessee
> 2014 retail sales: $18,910,000

Few retailers will be open longer on Thanksgiving Day than Dollar General. The discount store will open its doors to deal seekers at 7 a.m. Also in departure from tradition, some of Dollar General’s biggest deals will only be available on Thanksgiving Day and not on Black Friday. Dollar General reported an 8% sales growth from fiscal 2013 through fiscal 2014. Like most retailers, the chain will rely on the holiday shopping season to sustain that growth.

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6. Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS)
> Headquarters:
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
> 2014 retail sales: $19,023,000

Kohl’s opened at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, 2013. In 2014, however, the department store let shoppers in at 6 p.m. local time, and it will do the same this year. Kohl’s is one of many large retailers that earn a disproportionately high share of its annual profits in the fourth quarter. Lengthening the holiday shopping season, even by only a few hours, underscores the importance of fourth-quarter sales to the company’s profits.

5. Sears Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD)
> Headquarters:
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
> 2014 retail sales: $25,763,000

Sears Holdings is the parent company of both Sears and Kmart. This Thanksgiving, many of the company’s 196,000 employees will have to work. At 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sears will open its doors to early Black Friday deal seekers. Where legally permitted, Kmart locations will open at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day.

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4. Macy’s (NYSE: M)
> Headquarters:
Cincinnati, Ohio
> 2014 retail sales: $28,027,000

Like many large retailers, Macy’s will open for Black Friday shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Macy’s announced in September that it would hire an additional 86,000 workers for the holiday workers. Fourth-quarter sales account for a disproportionately high share of Macy’s total sales. More than one third of the company’s sales last year came in the fourth quarter.

3. Best Buy (NYSE: BBY)
> Headquarters:
Richfield, Minnesota
> 2014 retail sales: $35,957,000

Best Buy will open its doors for eight hours starting at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The electronics superstore will then reopen at 8 a.m. on Black Friday, two hours earlier than its regular hours. Major sales events like Black Friday are important for the Minnesota-based retailer as transactions in the U.S. account for roughly 85% of the company’s total sales.

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2. Target (NYSE: TGT)
> Headquarters:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
> 2014 retail sales: $72,618,000

For the second consecutive year, Target will open its doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, giving its customers a six hour head start to take advantage of Black Friday sales. Two years ago, the Minneapolis-based retailer opened at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

1. Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT)
> Headquarters:
Bentonville, Arkansas
> 2014 retail sales: $343,624,000

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is the world’s single largest private employer, and the company’s U.S. workforce of roughly 1.4 million dwarfs that of every other American business. Walmart kicks off its Black Friday sale at 6 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving Day. Online shoppers can get Black Friday sale prices all day on Thursday. Electronic gear, including 4K TVs, Xbox One systems, and iPad Air 2s are among the doorbuster deals.

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