Why stores should stay closed on Thanksgiving


Lines of people gather at the Apple store on Fifth Avenue, waiting for the doors to open and the highly anticipated Black Friday deals. Fair Use: Flickr

There are two types of people around Thanksgiving and the holidays. The first are people who love to savor every moment with their friends and families and celebrate Thanksgiving the full 24 hours it lasts. The other type, avid shoppers with their minds set on specific Black Friday deals, believe that stores should open hours before the Black Friday madness actually begins.

Many stores such as Nordstrom, Marshalls, Walmart, or Target face the decision to unlock their doors in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner or to refrain from the excited bargain Christmas gift hunters each year. Within the bustling world today, it is often easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations. We begin to see Thanksgiving and Black Friday merge, changing the underlying meaning of the holiday from appreciation for what you have to envy of what you don’t.

The major reason for stores to stay closed on Thanksgiving is to benefit employees. Many stores have made the right decision in allowing their employees to stay home and enjoy the holiday with their families instead of scheduling them to work crazy shifts full of clamoring customers. According to Time Magazine, in 2014, Von Maur released a statement on their decision to stay closed, hinting that “any store opening on Thanksgiving isn’t family-oriented.”  Similarly, in the same year, Menards and Costco stated that they will remain closed since Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate with families and nothing more.

Another perk to staying closed on Thanksgiving is increasing customer and employee loyalty. The decision to not partake in the early bird Black Friday hoopla demonstrates the store’s appreciation for their employees and customers. These retailers often give an attractive family-friendly vibe, drawing customers in. While some may be disappointed because they can’t start shopping before 12 a.m., these stores, by staying closed,  allow for their customers to re-evaluate what is really important on the holiday and not get lost in the sales.  

While I understand the desire to find the best deals and get the most stuff for as little cash as possible, we should not overlook the opportunity Thanksgiving gives us to step back from out frantic lives and rediscover the people who we love. Thanksgiving is a holiday dedicated to saying thanks and being grateful for the people and things you have in your life. The most important gift isn’t the newest iPhone or that cute 60 percent-off sweater, it is spending time with the ones you love.