thanksgiving and retailers

Thanksgiving is a sacred day in the United States, where families and friends gather to appreciate and recognize one another’s efforts (Sanchez, Zemsky, & Editors, 2015). Since its inception in 1863, all shopping establishments have been forced to close for the holiday. According to a recent survey, however, a significant number of shops nowadays insist on opening as normal or for a communicated duration, during which their employees are expected to report for duty unless otherwise reported. It simply comes from the petition to open stores, which argues that operating on the day has a negative impact on profit margins. Although it is not a justifiable reason, I agree that retailers can have the right to open on the Thanksgiving Day, especially in nowadays capitalistic world.

While it seems doubtful that their petitions will influence the business positively, retailers such as Kmart and JCPenney, Macy’s, Big Lots and Walmart tend to keep their stores open during the Thanksgiving holiday (Gore, 2016). Staples, on the contrary, decided to close the stores with a plea to provide employees and customers with a possibility to enjoy the holiday unconditionally (Zarya, 2015). However, according to research, it is contradictory as the Staple did not shun away from the business entirely. Closer to the Black Friday it pulled an online retail platform to operate during the Thanksgiving. As this may sound rigid, an economist at Belus Capital, announced that although people flocked to the stores during the Thanksgiving, they did not spend as much money as was anticipated (Sozzi, 2014). Nonetheless, they went to look through the products, which they would buy during the Black Friday offer. Remarkably, the New York Mall Owner as well forced its stores to remain open with an hourly penalty imposed to those retailers who failed to comply (Aol. Finance, 2014).

On the other hand, an increasing number of retailers remained upstanding with their decision to close operations on the Thanksgiving Day. They affirmed that holding back business on holidays keeps shopping alive. For instance, some malls and stores such as Marshalls, Nordstrom, Cabela’s GameStop, DSW, IKEA and TJ Maxx remain closed during the holiday (Gore, 2016). Unlike the Kmart, these retailers do so to avoid commercialization of that day as much as possible. Some people perceive it as a sacred day that ought to be honoured. According to a social media survey, the public may also view it as employee exploitation, an image that no store would like to acquire. Nonetheless, because of their competitor’s operation, implementation of closure has been problematic.

Considering both pints of view to be reasonable, I still stand by the opinion that retailers should open during the Thanksgiving. Staying closed will deprive consumers of buying desirable products, whereas closed shops will lose sales to their competitors, hence giving them a competitive advantage (University, 2013). Moreover, most consumers are loyal customers. They have a planned family budget to buy instant stuff in the open stores. Others exhaust their shopping during the celebration, hence rushing for extra items in the shops. Just to terminate the inquisitiveness, imagine a situation where the stores are entirely non-operational. It would affect not only the store but also its corporate social responsibility (CSR) (O’Brien, 2014). It is essential, therefore, to remain open to grab a piece of the pie as well. Indeed, better half bread than none.

According to the study likewise, a significant number of American consumers have shown enthusiasm in lining up outside Wal-Mart, Kmart, and their affiliate stores before starting their Thanksgiving meals (O’Brien, 2014). The observation anticipates that more shoppers will be visiting the stores as the time passes. However, if they choose to close, they would indeed close even if it worth costs that would not be recovered.

In addition, as a CSR, opening on Thanksgiving is an abundant opportunity for a significant number of low-paid Americans. They have an opportunity to earn extra income for their budgets beforehand the Christmas celebrations. The additional revenue comes from commitment and overtime allowances. It is also an opportunity for the business to grow as they can make more sales than usual (O’Brien, 2014). Furthermore, according to Wharton University 2013, the total sales on Thanksgiving were about 1.5 billion dollars in 2012, a value that has appreciated with shops operating during the holiday. According to reports by comScore as well, consumerism increased up to 32 percent that year, but again has hiked to 132 percent over the last four years, hence making more sales, which creates a greener ground for business development.

In conclusion, there are undoubted benefits for retail stores operating on Thanksgiving, giving them a competitive advantage. Moreover, business during that day promotes a better CSR by supporting not only shoppers but low-income individuals as well. The shop also increases sales hence giving it an opportunity for corporate growth.


Aol.Finance (2014). N.Y. Mall to Fine Stores That Refuse to Open on Thanksgiving. Aol.Finance. Retrieved on 14 March 2017, from

Gore, L. (2016). What stores are open Thanksgiving 2016? Hours for Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Best Buy and more. Retrieved on 14 March 2017, from

O’Brien, G. (2014). Why Thanksgiving Day Store Openings Are Bad Business | Business Ethics. Retrieved on 14 March 2017, from

Sanchez, R., Zemsky, R., & Editors, t. (2015). The Ethics of Working on Thanksgiving -. The Good Men Project. Retrieved 14 March 2017, from

Sozzi, B. (2014). What REALLY just happened on Black Friday?. CNBC. Retrieved on 14 March 2017, from

University Wharton. (2013). Thanksgiving Hours: Competitive Advantage or ‘Really Inefficient’? Knowledge@Wharton. Retrieved on 14 March 2017, from

Zarya, V. (2015). This Retailer Wants To Take A Stand Against Black Friday Shopping Madness. Retrieved on 14 March 2017, from

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