Work on Thanksgiving?

Retailers Feeling Thanksgiving Day Shopping Backlash

Here come the holidays, along with retail stores desperately and aggressively trying to boost the 2015 bottom line with holiday sales. Since the inception of big holiday shopping, the public was accustomed to certain holidays, Thanksgiving being one of those holidays, which almost all stores closed to allow employees to enjoy the day with friends and family, it was just the way things were just supposed to be on Thanksgiving Day.

A few years ago, retail chains started down a slippery slope trying to get ahead. Thanksgiving saw major retailers like Walmart and Target strategize a jump start to the holiday season with opening on Thanksgiving.  It was a growing phenomenon, capture consumer dollars early and making employees work on Thanksgiving day.  Employees and their families got caught up in the race for the retail dollars, shoppers got deals, employees lost a major American holiday and tradition and time with their loved ones.  Retailers blinded by the bottom line, boasted new pre-black Friday sales, and shoppers eager to get a sweet deal came out in droves, fueling the Thanksgiving day shopping trend.  Big profits continued the trend, pushing employees into work for extended hours and midnight store openings, despite being Thanksgiving Day.

A few years running, the shine has started to wear on this golden goose, there has been a strong backlash against retailers, not only from employees, but from the public as well.  People are saddened and shocked at the retailers quest for greed, with an almost “shame on you Mr. Scrooge” sentiment, many people are disgusted when they hear the stories of employees having to leave the family get together, or skip it all together, just so someone can get a deal a day early.  The upset public and employees started labeling the act with terms like “un-american” and “lacking family values” and with the power of the internet, anti-shopping petitions, facebook pages and negative talk against a Thanksgiving shopping day and the companies that favored corporate greed over all else, continued to build.

Retailers are starting to feel the heat and get out of the kitchen, and this year especially, we have seen dozens of retailers give-in to the pressure, and allow their employees a chance to regain family traditions.  The public sentiment is that Closing on Thanksgiving Day is the right thing for employers to do.

Currently there is a growing list of retailers closing on Thanksgiving Day, Washington State based retailer REI, even announced it’s stores will remain closed, not only on Thanksgiving Day but even through Black Friday.

List of Retail Stores Closed on Thanksgiving Day 2015

  • A.C. Moore
  • American Girl Store
  • Apple
  • At Home
  • Barnes & Noble
  • BJ’s
  • Burlington Stores
  • Costco
  • Crate and Barrel
  • Dillards
  • DSW
  • GameStop
  • H&M
  • Half Price Books
  • Harbor Freight
  • Home Depot
  • Home Goods
  • Jo-Ann Stores
  • Lowe’s
  • Marshalls
  • Mattress Firm
  • Nordstrom
  • P.C. Richard & Son
  • Panera Bread
  • Patagonia
  • Petco
  • Petsmart
  • Pier 1 Imports
  • REI (closed on Black Friday too)
  • Sam’s Club
  • Sierra Trading Post
  • Staples
  • Sur La Table
  • T.J. Maxx
  • Von Maur

As the backlash grows, and with the internet being right at everyone’s fingertips, companies may finally realize that capitalizing on the power and convenience of online shopping, and yes, even on Thanksgiving Day, could help them avoid a messy backlash and still giving the opportunity for their customers to enjoy some holiday savings.


Dan LaBate

Dan is director of Search Engine Strategies at Engines of Creation Web Design & SEO. With 10+ years experience working in SEO/SEM, Dan helps businesses grow revenue and transform their websites into highly effective sales, marketing and lead capturing tools.

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