It’s 4:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving and you’re contemplating a slice of pecan pie (your third... potentially). You aren’t eager to leave the warmth of the dinner table and the company of your family and friends ― plus, the gluttonous third slice would give you sufficient excuse to delay tackling the pile of dishes in the kitchen. Inhibitions long gone, you go for it. Meanwhile, in a cold department store two miles away, fluorescent lights illuminate stacks of inventory. Frenzied shoppers on the sales floor need to know: Why won’t you price match? What’s the company’s return policy? Does it come in stainless? Welcome to the dichotomy of Thanksgiving, a holiday ostensibly about appreciation and giving thanks that is struggling to compete with profit-driven companies eager to kick off the holiday season. This year, 49 percent of retailers plan to open on Thanksgiving, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2016 Holiday Report, 1 percent more than last year. (About 9 percent of the retailers PwC surveyed have yet to decide their plans for the day). Amid that small uptick, however, the share of retailers opting to remain closed has become increasingly vocal. “Almost half of those choosing to close their doors on Thanksgiving Day are doing so to better align with their corporate values—and with their employees,” notes PwC. More than a fifth of those surveyed said employee morale is their primary reason for not opening on Thanksgiving this year. Among those is Mall of America, the biggest mall in the country, which will close for Thanksgiving this year for the first time since 2012. “We think Thanksgiving is a day for families and for people we care about,” Jill Renslow, the mall’s senior vice president of marketing, explained earlier this month. “We want to give this day back.” We think Thanksgiving is a day for families and for people we care about. We want to give this day back. Mall of America executive Jill Renslow In Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, decades-old “blue laws,” holdovers from the area’s Puritan past, actually prohibit most large stores from opening Thanksgiving Day. And in Ohio, state Rep. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) introduced a bill in 2014 that would protect workers from retaliation by their employer if they refused to work on Thanksgiving. (Enthusiasm for the bill fizzled and it didn’t come close to being signed into law.) “Thanksgiving Day is supposed to be a day when we retreat from consumerism,” Foley explained at the time. “It’s a day when you hang out with your family, go play touch football, have a big turkey dinner, and complain about your crazy uncle or cousin—but you don’t think about super blockbuster sales at Target.” (On the flip side, it’s worth noting some employees don’t mind working Thanksgiving, and in some cases welcome the opportunity for overtime pay. Few retail employees, however, have the luxury of making the decision for themselves.) For those keeping track, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is an entirely different creature: PwC found 85 percent of retailers plan to open that day, the same number as in 2015, despite predictions the shopping event will see 8 percent fewer shoppers this year. Here are some of the larger retailers who have announced they will close on Thanksgiving (via BestBlackFriday.com): Barnes & Noble Bed Bath & Beyond Burlington Cabela’s Costco Crate and Barrel Dillard’s DSW GameStop Guitar Center Harbor Freight Hobby Lobby Home Depot IKEA Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores Jos. A Bank Lowes Mall of America Marshalls Mattress Firm Menards Neiman Marcus Nordstrom Nordstrom Rack Office Depot Office Max Patagonia Petco PetSmart Pier 1 Imports Publix Sam’s Club Sierra Trading Post Staples The Container Store T.J. Maxx -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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People who work at country’s biggest mall will get to fully enjoy their food comas this Turkey Day. The Mall of America, located in Bloomington, Minnesota, will close on Thanksgiving. The shopping and entertainment center has opened its doors on the national holiday since 2012, allowing customers in at various times between 6 p.m. and midnight. But this year the mall wants its employees to enjoy the holiday with their loved ones, according to a release published Wednesday. “We think Thanksgiving is a day for families and for people we care about,” Jill Renslow, the mall’s senior vice president of marketing, told the Associated Press. “We want to give this day back.” The hundreds of stores inside the mall have the option to open on Thanksgiving if they choose, the mall’s release said. And a limited number of security and other personnel will work that day as well, being that an annual Walk to End Hunger fundraiser, which has taken place at the mall for eight years, will still go on. But attractions such as Nickelodeon Universe, an indoor amusement park, and the facility’s movie theaters, which are owned by the mall, will be closed on the holiday, reports the AP. We think Thanksgiving is a day for families and for people we care about. We want to give this day back.” Jill Renslow, the mall’s senior vice president of marketing Renslow told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that mall officials hope this move will help “bring that special magic back to Black Friday,” which will begin at 5 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving. Marshal Cohen, a retail analyst with NPD Group, also told the Tribune that staying open during Thanksgiving doesn’t necessarily boost sales over the 4-day weekend ― it just spreads out the spending over four days, rather than three. Plus, due to online sales and Black Friday deals some stores offer earlier in November, some of the spending sizzle that used to exist during Black Friday has died down a bit. Though many national retailers have not yet announced their Thanksgiving Day plans, Costco, Home Depot and Nordstrom, to name a few, will close for the holiday. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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Nordstrom's new Toronto store in the Eaton Centre. photo: Takara Small. The site had been empty for a while, and the location was irresistible -- the Eaton Centre -- an enormous mall in downtown Toronto that opened in 1977 that gets 1 million visitors a week. Nordstrom, whose first Canadian stores opened [...]