Do Stores Really Need To Be Open Thanksgiving Day??

Retailers are desperate to attract customers to their stores at this critical time of year. Many stores are having PRE-Thanksgiving events in order to jump-start the holiday weekend. With Internet shopping available 24/7 at sites like, retailers are feeling the pressure to open their doors on what was once a special national holiday.

As we all know, Black Friday has become the SUPERBOWL FOR SHOPPERS … retailers spend all year prepping for just a few hours of frenzied chaos! They ask themselves: How can we get more sales? Their answer? Let’s open on THANKSGIVING DAY!!!  It’s all about that BOTTOM LINE for most retailers …

Why would retailers want to be open on Thanksgiving Day, forcing their employees to cut their Thanksgiving festivities short? Those who support these retailers say that employees can “volunteer” to work the hours. Really?? I worked a holiday season at a local retail store and we weren’t given a choice … the schedule was made with no input from employees and we worked or we wouldn’t be employed. It’s a nice concept that employees who really don’t care about the day and want  to make some extra money could volunteer. It used to be employees who had to work a holiday got paid overtime giving workers some incentive to volunteer … now lots of retailers have done away with that practice! Would you give up your holiday to be in the midst of a MELEE to make minimum wage?? I know I wouldn’t!

For many Americans, Thanksgiving is a day spent with family and friends, eating ourselves into a coma, vegging in front of the tv for some football and quite possibly a few zzzz’s, and then raiding the kitchen again for seconds (or thirds) or that coveted pumpkin pie. However, those who prefer the crowds and hustle and bustle for the Thanksgiving Day “steals and deals” (over what is probably considered one of the best football days of the year) may be disappointed this year. At last count, over 75 well-known retailers will not partake in the PRE-Black Friday mania. (See my list of the top 48, as of this writing.) These stores want to give their employees and customers a chance to enjoy Thanksgiving Day with their families without having to worry about working and shopping. In some cases, these stores are losing money by deciding to close – which makes them even more admirable in my book! I applaud these stores as I truly believe that “non-essential” workers should be able to spend holidays however they want, be it with their loved ones or spending the day in bed or watching football or watching movies. Let’s support these stores who value family by NOT SHOPPING on Thanksgiving Day and encourage others to do the same. That being said, some stores are in a better position to remain closed than others, and sometimes the potential sales are just too much to lose so they really have no choice but to open.

Did you know … 

  • Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine have “Blue Laws” that prohibit the majority of retailers from opening on Thanksgiving Day. This law makes exception to restaurants, gas stations and food stores.
  • In September 2017, conducted a shopping survey of 523 American adults over the age of 18. The question asked was: How do you feel about stores being open on Thanksgiving Day? The results may surprise you …
    • Strongly favor 5.60%
    • Favor 10.26%
    • Indifferent 26.26%
    • Dislike 20.66%
    • Strongly dislike 36.87%

That means 57.53% of respondents DO NOT LIKE the idea of stores being open on Thanksgiving Day with 26.25% having no opinion and only 16.22% actually favoring it.

While Black Friday is still an important day for holiday shopping, Thanksgiving is the day when most of the top doorbusters go on sale. For that reason, shoppers think to get the best deals of the season, they have no choice but to venture out on Turkey Day. But the good news is that many of these top doorbusters are also available online so shoppers don’t have to wait in lines on Thanksgiving. On top of that, Cyber Monday is expected to be bigger than ever this year, according to, which is another reason in-store shopping on Thanksgiving is no longer required to get the good deals. Maybe online shopping on Black Friday will become the norm some day so stores don’t have to be open on Thanksgiving Day.

The bottom line is as long as shoppers are willing to venture out on Thanksgiving and spend money, stores will continue to accommodate them – either in person or online. Eventually I’m afraid this will just become the norm. Is Christmas Day shopping next???

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and ENJOY THE DAY!

Below is a list of 48 retailers that will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, as of this writing. I expect more will be joining this list. If you believe that Thanksgiving Day is a day to be spent with family and friends for the entire day, then join me in staying home and enjoying family! There will always be some deal or another out there, but how often do you get to spend the day enjoying your family?

Barnes & Noble
Burlington Coat Factory
Crate & Barrel
Harbor Freight
Home Depot
Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft
Nordstrom Rack
Orchard Supply Hardware
Pier 1 Imports
Sur La Table
T.J. Maxx
The Container Store
A.C.Moore Arts & Crafts
Ace Hardware
Bed Bath & Beyond
BJ Wholesale Club
Gardner-White Furniture
Guitar Center
Half Price Books
Hobby Lobby
Mattress Firm
Neiman Marcus
P.C.Richard & Son
Saks Fifth Ave
Sam’s Club
Sierra Trading Post
Tractor Supply
True Value
Von Maur

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