Local News

A reverse trend? Retailers opt to stay closed on Thanksgiving

Posted November 23, 2015 7:08 p.m. EST
Updated November 23, 2015 7:33 p.m. EST

— Retail experts are calling it a reverse trend. A number of stores including REI, Nordstrom, Marshalls and Costo decided to scrap the tradition to start Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving.

"I think that's a good idea." said shopper David Wicker. "Thanksgiving should be with your family."

But while retailers are hoping to curry some goodwill among shoppers for staying shuttered on the holiday, they are also focused on the bottom line.

According to the National Retail Federation, last year shoppers spent six percent less than the year before during the four-day Thanksgiving shopping weekend, despite stores opening earlier than ever.

"I work in a store, and I also want the day off," said Debra Alford. "I don't have the day off. I've got to work as well."

Earlier this month, Target announced it will open its doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, the same time as last year. Target and rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. began opening on Thanksgiving three years ago to better compete with online retailers and other competitors.

Other companies that have already announced plans to open on Thanksgiving include toy seller Toys R Us and department store chains Macy Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp.

But as more people spend Thanksgiving hooked to their smartphones, fewer feel the need to leave their house to shop. Analysts predict online shopping will grow an additional 6 to 8 percent this year as deals start earlier in the week.

"I think you are seeing retailers start already at the beginning of the week and going through Tuesday or Wednesday, kicking off for the rest of the weekend," said Andy Ellen, president of the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association.

Malls across the Triangle will be open on Thanksgiving. Crabtree Valley Mall and Triangle Town Center, in Raleigh, Cary Towne Center and The Streets at Southpoint, in Durham, will open at 6 p.m. Thursday, however not all stores will be required to open. Old Navy at Crabtree Valley Mall will open at 4 p.m. and Best Buy will open at 5 p.m. On Friday, mall hours begin at 6 a.m.