Retailers says no to a Black Friday on Thanksgiving

October 17
6:00 AM 2016

CNBC reported that the operator of 89 regional malls and shopping centers, CBL & Associates, announced the closing of 73 of its locations of Thanksgiving Day until 6 a.m. on Black Friday diverging its usual mall opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

The Mall of America will also be closed on the holiday this year. Said mall has operated on Thanksgiving Day for the last four years.

Moreover, other retailers including Costco, Home Depot, and REI have already announced their plans to stay closed on the holiday, as well.

According to many retailers, the closing of mall operations on Thanksgiving Day this year is driven by the fact that Thanksgiving is meant to be celebrated at the comfort of people's own homes with their family.

"We think Thanksgiving is a day for families and for people we care about," Jill Renslow, Mall of America's Senior Vice President of Marketing, told The Associated Press. "We want to give this day back."

However, the true purpose why retailers will stay closed may have to do more with money.

In the recent years, Black Friday sales dropped marking a decrease of 12% to $10.2 billion in 2015, according to ShopperTrak. Brick-and-mortar retail sales have fallen 10.4% to $20.4 billion last year during the entire four-day weekend.

Black Friday, being marked as the biggest shopping day of the year, is also jeopardized. According to RetailNext, a firm that tracks retail shoppertraffic, the largest shopping day of the year in terms of sales will be on December 23 which falls on a Friday, just two days before the Christmas Day. The firm even predicted that Thanksgiving Day is not even expected to be one of the top 10 biggest shopping days this year.

"Black Friday historically has been such a great shopping day," CBL CEO Stephen Lebovitz told CNBC. "It's lost its luster because we've diluted it... We want to bring back Black Friday and make it fun."

Walmart, Target, Macy's, and Best Buy all opened for their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day last year. No announcements, however, have been released for their plans this year.

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