Weeks ahead of Halloween, the holiday shopping season may seem far off.
Costco, Ikea, Sam’s Club, Home Depot and Lowe’s are among the big names on the popular holiday website’s third annual Thanksgiving closures list.
“At this point in the year, we have the most confirmed closures we have ever had with 60 retailers,” said Phillip Dengler, head of editorial and content marketing for BestBlackFriday.com, which began contacting stores in early September.
The stores on the list have traditionally kept their doors closed for the holiday, and Dengler expects the list to grow. Although the site hasn’t confirmed any new closures this year, Dengler said there were a few surprises last year.
In 2017, GameStop opened on Thanksgiving for the first time in years, and Stein Mart and Shoe Carnival closed after being open in previous years.
“While we do not expect any huge retailers to switch course, we do expect a middle-tier retailer or two to potentially close,” Dengler said.
According to the National Retail Federation, 174 million people shopped in-store and online during last year’s five-day Thanksgiving weekend, which concluded with Cyber Monday.
ShopperTrak found Thanksgiving Day foot traffic to be down while Black Friday traffic remained stable in 2017. The market research firm projects this Black Friday will be the biggest shopping day of the year.
Black Friday gained its name because it was viewed as the day of the year retailers earned profitability, or were “in the black.” Nearly a decade ago, sales slowly started creeping into Thanksgiving and by 2012 most major retailers were open on the fourth Thursday in November.
Despite public outcry and shoppers threatening to boycott, the opening times have moved earlier. Last year, J.C. Penney started its sale at 2 p.m. Thanksgiving and Kohl’s, Macy’s and Best Buy started sales at 5 p.m.
Last year, a BestBlackFriday.com survey found 57 percent of Americans were against Thanksgiving openings while only 16 percent said they favored them.
“Many people are still strongly against the idea of retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving,” Dengler said. “Since Thanksgiving is all about family, a majority of people believe stores should be closed on the day.”
While still a minority, the website’s new survey shows more people may be getting used to the idea. Nearly a quarter of the 1,069 surveyed this year said they were in favor of the holiday openings, close to a 9 percentage point increase over last year.
What time stores will serve up Thanksgiving in-store sales this year isn’t public yet.
“Stores are always reluctant to tell us if they will be open on Thanksgiving and what their hours will be,” Dengler said. “Since most major national retailers are open on Thanksgiving, we think it is because the competition is much more fierce.”
Click here for the full list of retailers.
SOURCE: USA Today – Kelly Tyco