A string of large US retailers kept their stores closed on the holiday in 2020, including Walmart, Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods, and did so again in 2021. In 2022, according to BlackFriday.com, all of those stores plus Hobby Lobby, Kohl’s, Macy’s and more also said they would not be open on Thanksgiving.
Target was the first retailer to announce its new policy on what traditionally marks the start to the festive season.
“What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard — one that recognizes our ability to deliver on our guests’ holiday wishes both within and well beyond store hours,” Target CEO Brian Cornell wrote in a note to employees.
Mr Cornell said he decided on the new policy after visiting stores in New York and New Jersey where he was told by staff how they were happy to be at home on Thanksgiving with their families.
In 2020, many retailers turned the forced closures into a much longer festive shopping season, with sales beginning as early as October - with some success.
Holiday sales in the US in November and December 2020 rose by 8.2 per cent over 2019, says the National Retail Federation. And the country’s largest retail trade group predicts that 2021 business could break last year’s record, with between 8.5 per cent and 10.5 per cent growth.
Target said last year that it would have some staff working at distribution and call centers but its 1,927 US stores will all remain closed.
Thanksgiving has never been a big shopping day in the US, with an emphasis on Black Friday the following day, but retailers began to open their store on Thanksgiving to compete with online sales at places like Amazon.