GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Nearly 40 stores are bucking the trend of recent years and keeping their doors closed to shoppers this Thanksgiving.
However most of the big box stores like Macy’s and Best Buy will still open Thanksgiving day.
“The big box stores are still planning to open on Thursday, in fact some of them are even planning on moving some of their black Friday specials even earlier,” said Jennifer Pope, a marketing professor at Grand Valley State University.
“Part of it is the stores we’re seeing a drop in consumers participating in Black Friday and last year we saw a significant drop in consumers shopping on Thursday, so stores are realizing it’s just not worth it,” said Pope.
According to the National Retail Federation, Thanksgiving weekend sales, which run Thursday through Sunday, were down 11 percent last year over 2013. But overall holiday sales were up.
Pope said the change in shopping habits is largely due to more and more people doing their shopping online.
“I know there are some people that just love the thrill of finding that deep discount, but people are starting to realize they can get that deep discount online so why bother to get up at 5 in the morning and go shopping on Black Friday when I can just get up and in my pajamas do that shopping from my house,” said Pope.
Pope said while it’s not likely in the near future that shoppers will see the big box stores closed again on Thanksgiving, the number of smaller stores and specialty shops staying closed on Thanksgiving may grow.
“I think if they start to see the continued fall in sales, and like I said last year we saw a fall in the number of consumers that went out on Thursday and if that continues to fall they are going to realize it’s just not financially viable to be open on Thursday because they’re paying double time, they are paying overtime for their employees to be there and if no one is there that’s not worth it.”