Sears, Macy's hold Black Friday on Black Thursday, Thanksgiving

Many retail workers and shoppers will spend Thanksgiving in stores, but will remaining open on the holiday boost retailers' bottom line?
November 25, 2013 3:47:58 PM PST
Many retail workers and shoppers will spend Thanksgiving in stores, but will remaining open on the holiday boost retailers' bottom line?

This Thanksgiving instead spending the day with her family, Magnolia Bakery's pie maker, Joely Vargas will be working on the holiday.

''We open early, we get out early, around 5 p.m., and we still have time to get home and have dinner with family and all that stuff,'' said Vargas.

And while Vargas doesn't seem to mind, others do.

Several online petitions popped up this year on the charge.org website, demanding that chain stores remain closed on Thanksgiving and ask consumers to boycott the stores that do open.

Chicagoan Antoine Thomas says that holiday spending is good for everyone.

''The economy is bad right now and to have a job and be able to work, amen,'' Thomas said.

Because this year's holiday-shopping season is six days shorter, some retailers are holding Black Friday sales on Thursday, in an effort to get customers in the door.

''On Thanksgiving, the parade draws a lot of people to the area, we want to get that business,'' said Nikki Lee, general manager of Magnolia Bakery.

And Magnolia is not alone.

Sears will open at 8 p.m. Thursday and will remain open until 10 p.m. Friday.

Macy's is breaking its 155-year-old tradition of closing on Thanksgiving and will be open on Thursday night too.

''I think everybody can choose what they want to do, whether with family or shopping for bargains, it's up to the individual. I feel bad for the workers,'' said shopper Sharon Betz.

But according to Deloitte's pre-Thanksgiving survey, there will be fewer consumers in stores on Thanksgiving.

The data shows that among holiday weekend shoppers:

  • 53 percent plan to shop in stores on Black Friday down from 63 percent in 2012.
  • 13 percent of consumers plan to shop in stores on Thanksgiving Day, which is down from 23 percent in 2012.

And although retailers like Von Maur, cite tradition as the reason they refuse to open Thanksgiving, some shoppers will try to make it all work.

''With the hours, you can shop early and go do the holiday thing with the family. It's a win-win situation,'' said shopper Monique Hildwein.

Experts say that shoppers may win out this year, as it is yet to be seen if retailers will be able to boost sales due to compeition with online shopping.