INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis-based retailer HH Gregg just announced all stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day this year.
That’s a reversal to the trend the last few years of stores opening on the holiday to attract those early Back Friday shoppers.
It’s a decision that many stores across the country are deciding to make this year.
HH Gregg’s CEO said this decision was made with employees in mind, so they can spend the holiday with their families.
This will be Bob Riesbeck’s first holiday shopping season at the helm for HH Gregg.
“I became the CEO back in February and since that time, I’ve spent a lot of time in our stores, talking with our associates, and one of the common questions has been ‘Are we going to be open on Thanksgiving Day?'” he said.
He began research a few months ago and has decided to close all the retail stores on Thanksgiving Day this year.
“What we have found is that over the last couple years sales on that day for instance have declined, it’s been more spread out throughout the week and even the month,” he said.
Dozens of other retailers are making that same decision to close their doors on Thursday and then kick off the shopping season on Black Friday, the way it used to be years ago.
Purdue Professor of Retail Management Richard Feinberg commented about the new retail trend.
“Retailers have to look at the cost benefits of keeping open on a Thursday all night and Friday early morning. It’s a business decision; if they’re not making that much money than it makes sense for them to close,” he said.
But Feinberg said that could come at a cost of losing out on those holiday shopping dollars and maybe drive customers to the internet.
“People will shop on Thanksgiving no matter what the stores do, and if the stores are not available for them, they will shop online,” he said.
Riesbeck is confident that the benefits of closing on Thanksgiving out weigh the negatives
“Our associates work so hard throughout the year and they sacrifice so much with their families throughout the year and it’s just such an important holiday, it is to me personally, so we just felt it was the right time to give them that day off,” he said, “I feel that we will pick up that sales difference from losing that day.”
He said they’ll probably have sales early in the week.
Many other national retailers will be closed Thanksgiving Day.
Notably, the Mall of America as well as Cabela’s, Sam’s Club, and Costco.
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