Tis the season for holiday closings. As the holiday season quickly approaches, Target announces that it will no longer open its stores’ doors on Thanksgiving Day!
The retail giant introduced the policy last year to minimize crowds to help prevent the spread, but because the response was overwhelmingly positive it decided to close again, but this time permanently.
Target CEO Brian Cornell’s decision to close the doors for good came after a visit to New York and New Jersey where workers shared they were glad to have the holiday to spend with loved ones. “What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard,” CEO Brian Cornell said to Target employees.
Major retailers, including Target, were forced to close their doors last year due to the ongoing pandemic. Although no other major company has announced any permanent changes to their Thanksgiving policy, stores like Walmart, Kohl’s, and Best Buy will close their doors again this year.
This news doesn’t come as a shock, as many Americans enjoy receiving the same deals over a longer period of time.
Despite closing last year, Target saw a 17% increase in sales during the holidays. Target began promoting holiday sales as early as October and increased the number of products available to prevent a shortage of high-demand items.
Holiday shopping in the U.S. has changed drastically over the years as retailers host their deals and events significantly earlier than in previous years. According to The National Retail Federation, holiday sales were up 8.2% in 2020 and are expected to shatter the record in 2021.
Stores like Nordstrom and Costco, which never opened its door for Thanksgiving, will continue to respect the holiday and remain closed.
In previous years, stores would typically open around 5 or 6 p.m. to kick off Black Friday deals early. The practice of opening on Thanksgiving began nearly a decade ago, but many stores received criticism for forcing thousands of people to work on the holidays instead of giving them time off to enjoy their loved ones. The public outcry for Thanksgiving day closures has since faded over the years as workers’ rights groups shift their focus to bigger issues like minimum wage, benefits, and labor demands.
Most of the sales this holiday weekend are expected to occur online despite the majority of Black Friday shoppers returning to shop in person this year.
It looks like Target’s decision to push Black Friday and Cyber Monday has sparked a movement in the retail world. Will other major retailers rush to follow in Target’s footsteps to keep doors closed on Thanksgiving Day as they continue to see rising holiday sales?