“We never expected the major stores — Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Target, Toys R Us, Sears and Macy’s — to close on Thanksgiving, but we did not think they would be opening earlier this year,” BestBlackFriday wrote in a Sunday blog post.
Macy's has not officially released opening times for all of its stores on the holiday, but BestBlackFriday did confirm 5:00 p.m. openings for stores at five malls nationwide: Ala Moana Center in Honolulu; Scottsdale Fashion Square in Scottsdale, AZ; Cherry Hill Mall in Cherry Hill, NJ; Moorestown Mall in Moorestown, NJ; and Christiana Mall in Newark, DE.
Macy’s opened on Thanksgiving Day for the first time in 2014, at 6:00 pm at its New York flagship store and other stores across the country, mere hours after hosting its iconic Thanksgiving Day parade, and stuck with a 6:00 opening last year, too.
While big-box retailers like Wal-Mart will also be open early on the holiday, a growing number of retailers have pushed back on the "Black Friday creep" and made a point of being closed on Thanksgiving. REI and a one-store outdoor Seattle retailer, Outside Research, last year went as far as closing on Black Friday itself.
Regional mall operator CBL & Associates Properties last week said that it will close 72 U.S. shopping centers on Thanksgiving Day, crediting the move to feedback from mall employees and retail partners as well as input from shoppers. According to news reports and press releases sent to Retail Dive, other retailers keeping stores shuttered so that employees can enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday include: American Girl, GameStop, Hhgregg, Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack, B.J. Wholesale, Sam’s Club, Costco and TJMaxx. BestBlackFriday has a more comprehensive list of retailers staying shut on the holiday.
"Whether other major retailers decide to move up their opening time on Thanksgiving remains to be seen, but Macy's is the first one to make their decision," Best Black Friday's Phil Dengler and Eric Jones said in an email to Retail Dive.
Macy’s and other retailers must have reason to believe they’ll steal sales from those that stay dark in favor of turkey and pumpkin pie, but some research shows Black Friday sales are mostly spread out over several days and it’s a zero-sum proposition, regardless of how long the weekend is. Additionally, many consumers who say they’ll shop on Thanksgiving Day will do so online from the comfort of their homes.
“At the bare minimum, other Macy’s locations anchored to malls should open at a 5 p.m., Dengler writes. "We are leaning towards believing that every Macy’s location will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving.”
This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the 2016 holiday shopping season. You can browse our holiday page for more stories.