Black Friday? Not This Year.

Black Friday is the infamous day that kicks off the official holiday shopping season in the United States. With many folks and students enjoying the day after Thanksgiving off, Black Friday is the perfect time to start working through lengthy holiday gift lists. Traditionally, retailers offer incredible sales, vying for consumer attention and wallets. In 2014, $50.9 billion was spent during the 4-day weekend alone.

In recent years, retailers have pushed back store opening times, drawing in buyers with promises of amazing deals. In 2011, several retailers, including Target, Macy’s and Best Buy, opened at midnight on Thanksgiving day for the first time.  Since then, retailers have slowly moved store opening times earlier and earlier. In 2014, stores like JC Penney and Best Buy opened their doors at 5pm on Thanksgiving day.

Not this year…

Some retailers are giving back Thanksgiving to their employees.  In 2015, stores like REI and Staples are leading the way by choosing to stay closed on Thanksgiving day. REI has pushed the envelope even further, keeping their 143 brick and mortar stores closed for Black Friday as well.  REI is encouraging employees and consumers to “discover nature’s restorative power” as an alternative to shopping that day. Of course, the store continues to offer online shopping options around the clock. But why? While many retailers have their employees’ best interests at heart, it has become increasingly clear that opening on Thanksgiving day isn’t as lucrative as some retailers thought. Additionally, a recent report by PwC shows that more shopping occurs before and after Black Friday, and that most holiday shopping takes place in December. The retail industry may be on the brink of responding to the way people are shopping- at least on Thanksgiving weekend.

Related topics: Holiday, Retail, Retail Sales