The number of big retailers giving in to peer pressure and announcing that they’ll be open on Thanksgiving Day (or the evening hours before Black Friday) has risen quickly in recent days.
However, despite the competitive retail climate this holiday-shopping season, many local, independent retailers are bucking the Thanksgiving Day trend—and denouncing it vocally.
“We’re not opening because it’s a holiday and we’re letting our families have the day off to spend the day with their families,” said Mary Moser, co-owner of Consumers Furniture Gallery in Santa Clarita, California. Like Moser, several local retailers told the Santa Clarita Valley Signal that they plan to remain closed on Thanksgiving to let their employees enjoy their holiday or because they believe opening on a day meant to give thanks is unethical.
In recent days, several shopping malls around the country have announced that they will be open, accommodating any retailers—small or large—that want to open their doors to shoppers on Thanksgiving.
However, retail experts aren’t even sure whether major stores opening their doors on Thanksgiving (dubbed the “Black Friday creep”) will see much benefit from the decision. Some analysts say they could eat into their Black Friday sales figures by opening on Turkey Day and not really boost their overall 2013 holiday sales revenues.
For small retailers, trying to go head-to-head with major retailers on Thanksgiving is probably a lost cause, anyway—even if it works out for retailers like Kohl’s and Best Buy. Most shoppers out on Thanksgiving will probably only have time to hit a couple stores that day. And they will probably gravitate toward stores heavily promoting “doorbusters” like low-priced flat-screen LCD TVs or Apple iPads. “The major retailers really steal the show that day,” retail analyst Jan Kniffen said in a recent OPEN Forum article on how independent retailers can fend off competition from major retailers this holiday season.
Candy Mason, owner of Silly Cactus, a screen-printing and embroidery shop located in a mall in Bullhead City, Arizona, said she refuses to open on Thanksgiving, despite that other stores in the mall will be open that day. She told the Mohave Daily News that her employees deserve the day off to be with their families and to honor the point of the day—to be thankful for what you have.
“I wish that all companies, large or small, would honor the tradition of being thankful,” she said. “There’s a lot of other days people can shop.”
Read more articles on holiday shopping.
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