Indianapolis-based shopping mall giant Simon Property Group announced Monday that it plans to join the growing retail trend of not being open on Thanksgiving Day. The company said all of its 220-plus properties would be closed on Nov. 26.
Simon properties will reopen on Black Friday, Nov. 27.
“In these challenging times, we made the decision that we will not open on Thanksgiving Day, instead allowing our associates to spend the holiday with their loved ones,” said David Simon, chairman, CEO and president of Simon, in a written statement.
Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Best Buy and Kohl’s have already announced they won’t be open for Thanksgiving this year.
Historically, retailers did not open on Thankgiving, but instead opened early the following day with Black Friday blockbuster sales. Over the past decade or so, more and more retailers have opened on Thanksgiving, initially with limited hours late in the day that have been expanded in recent years.
Retailers are rethinking Black Friday in-store bargain shopping as they try to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“Historically, deal hunting and holiday shopping can mean crowded events, and this isn’t a year for crowds,” said Target in a statement when it announced its decision.
Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette said in July that the department store will be pivoting its Black Friday business more toward online and will likely be going “full force” with holiday marketing right after Halloween. It also will be staggering events to reduce customer traffic in the store.
Target opened for the first time on Thanksgiving in 2011, joining other stores in jump-starting Black Friday sales and creating a new tradition of shoppers heading out to the stores after gobbling down their turkey and pumpkin pie. It came as physical stores were looking to be more competitive as shoppers were shifting more online.
Still, while some shoppers enjoy shopping on Thanksgiving, the events have drawn criticism particularly from labor-backed groups who have lambasted stores for taking advantage of workers. Thanksgiving sales, which are not even on the top 10 busiest days of a retailers’ calendar, have also eaten into Black Friday sales, though Black Friday is still the year’s biggest or second-biggest shopping day.