Being closed on Thanksgiving was once normal for major retailers but it’s now being positioned in the media as a rebellious “refusal” to open. Amid Macy’s, JCPenney, Walmart and Target, all of which will open at 5 or 6pm on Thanksgiving Day (and Kmart, which opens at 6am), many retailers are promoting the fact that they will be closed for the holiday.
Nordstrom, Men’s Wearhouse, Dillard’s, Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, DSW, Costco, REI and several others have all announced that they will not be open on Thanksgiving Day.
In a widely publicized statement, DSW CEO Michael MacDonald said, “This holiday season, you’ve probably seen or read about all the retailers opening their doors as early as 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. We have decided not to follow that trend. Instead, we believe family comes first and you should be at home celebrating with them on this special day.”
That statement has gone viral on social media as a quote superimposed on an image of the retailer’s storefront.
A spokesperson for TJX Companies, which operates Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx, told ThinkProgress in October, “We consider ourselves an associate-friendly company, and, we are pleased to give our associates the time to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.”
Some consumers are campaigning against retailers with Thanksgiving hours on social media. An Idaho man, Brian Rich, started a Facebook page called Boycott Black Thursday a few years ago. Today it has 108,900 likes. In an interview with the Idaho Statesman, Rich emphasized that this was not an anti-capitalism, or even anti-Black Friday, movement. “Probably half of our fans are very enthusiastic Black Friday shoppers. They love Black Friday. What this whole Black Thursday thing is doing is ruining Black Friday for them and their families. They are being forced to choose between shopping, which they love, and Thanksgiving, which they love. It’s watered down both holidays.”
Comedian Stephen Colbert joked on the The Colbert Report, “Some retail grinches want to destroy this holiday, by letting their employees have a holiday.”