In recent years, retailers like Walmart, Target, Sears, and Kohl’s have come under fire for opening their stores to Black Friday shoppers on Thanksgiving Day. This criticism, however, hasn’t made much of an impact on these big chains looking to capitalize on the biggest money-making opportunity of the year. In fact, Macy’s has announced that it will be kicking off the sales even earlier than ever before.
The 157-year-old department store chain plans to open up at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day this year. While most stores will close at 2 a.m. and then reopen at 6 a.m. on Black Friday, some locations will remain open for 29 hours straight, from 5 p.m. on Thursday to 10 p.m. on Friday.
Critics are arguing that employees should be at home with their families on Thanksgiving Day, and many retailers are pushing back against the “holiday creep” by remaining closed on the holiday.
Some companies have said that they “wanted to give back the day to employees,” while others have simply stated that they don’t feel the need to open early as sales continue to stretch out over the entire week and month.
On the other hand, J.C. Penney opened at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving last year and boosted business significantly. Best Buy, however, suffered over Thanksgiving weekend in 2012 when it didn’t open until midnight on the holiday.
Macy’s claims that it staffs its stores with employees who have volunteered to work on Thanksgiving, and compensates these workers with overtime pay.
“Doing so means that our employees are able to make their own decisions about how they contribute to our most important and busiest weekend of the year,” said Macy’s spokeswoman Holly Thomas. “We have also heard from many associates who appreciate the opportunity to work on Thanksgiving so they can have time off on Black Friday.”
These days, Cyber Monday rivals Black Friday in sales. In fact, last year, eBay sold one hoverboard every 12 seconds on Cyber Monday. As e-commerce sales continue to grow, will Black Friday success start to decline?