Blog with Rob: Taking back Thanksgiving

As companies like Wal-Mart have started making Black Friday a one, two, three, four now FIVE day event starting on Thanksgiving and stretching through the following Sunday, a few brave retailers are taking Thanksgiving back.

Wal-Mart recently announced that they will open at 6pm on Thanksgiving, continue with strong sales on Friday, then rotate a 30% off discount through Sunday.  The earlier start times are overwhelming for the average shopper who now thinks about rushing through dinner on a special holiday to take advantage of sales. In fact, according to a National Retail Federation survey, of those consumers who have gone or will go shopping during the Thanksgiving holiday times, 31.8% said they planned to go shopping on Thursday again.  In light of these hard facts,  it’s nice to hear that slowly, major retailers are starting to fight back in support of their employees.

So who’s going to be closed? Just to name a few big ones: American Girl, Barnes & Noble, Bed, Bath and Beyond, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Burlington Coat Factory, Costco, Crate & Barrel, Dillard’s, DSW, GameStop, Hobby Lobby, HomeGoods, Home Depot, Jo Ann Fabrics, Lowe’s, Marshalls, Nordstrom, Patagonia, Petco, Pier 1, Publix, Sam’s Club and T.J. Maxx.

Potential reasoning behind the decision is twofold. One, retailers have to offer such deep discounts that it doesn’t cover the cost of operating the store on Thanksgiving, and second, they want employees to spend the day with their families. Whatever the ultimate cause, I applaud these retailers’ decision to stay closed.   I for one will be relaxing on my couch after a great meal with family and friends, not heading out to the stores.

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Rob Basso is a recognized small business expert, successful business owner and entrepreneur.

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