NEW YORK (AP) – Macy’s is staying committed to Thanksgiving Day shopping, saying it’ll open an hour earlier this year.
The company plans to open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, with most Macy’s stores closing at 2 a.m., and then reopening at 5 a.m. Friday. It cited “ongoing customer interest in shopping on Thanksgiving, both at Macy’s and at many other retailers.”
The department store chain has been open on Thanksgiving evening since 2013, but had remained open through the night.
In a statement emailed to The Associated Press, it said it surveyed store employees well in advance about their preferences.
“We are working diligently to staff Thanksgiving with associates who volunteer,” Macy’s said. “Doing so means that our employees are able to make their own decisions about how they contribute to our most important and busiest weekend of the year.”
The Friday after Thanksgiving had long served as the official kickoff to holiday shopping. But over the past few years, more stores have opened on Thanksgiving itself to lure early shoppers and amid online competition. The move has been a controversial one, as many workers complained that stores were putting profits over workers’ time with their families.
The trend appeared to be reversing as several stores including Staples and consumer electronics chain hhgregg, as well as the Mall of America and mall operator CBL & Associates announced in the last two weeks that they will be closed on Thanksgiving. They said they wanted to give back the day to employees. In reality, many also say it doesn’t make good business sense as sales continue to be stretched out for the week – and the month.
Other major retailers like Target, Best Buy and J.C. Penney are expected to announce their Thanksgiving weekend hours soon.
CBL & Associates Properties Inc. said last week most of its 89 shopping centers will be closed on Thanksgiving. However, department stores, movie theaters, restaurants and retailers with exterior entrances have the option to open on Thanksgiving. When the Mall of America, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, announced its Thanksgiving strategy, it said some tenants may choose to be open. So it will have security and other key personnel on duty to ensure smooth operations.