Target will no longer open its stores on Thanksgiving Day, making a permanent shift to the unofficial start to the holiday season that was suspended during the pandemic.
To limit in-store crowds, retailers were forced last year to turn what had become a weekend shopping flash into an expanded event, with holiday sales beginning as early as October.
The forced shift seems to have been random.
US holiday sales in November and December increased by 8.2% in 2020 compared to the previous year, according to The National Retail Federation, the country’s largest retail group. The trading group predicts that 2021 may break this record and grow between 8.5% and 10.5%.
Americans who were able to get the same deals over a wider period of time, which alleviated some of the strains that go hand in hand with the holiday, seemed to embrace the change.
“What started as a pandemic-driven temporary measure is now our new standard – one that recognizes our ability to meet our guests’ holiday needs both within and far beyond store opening hours,” Target CEO Brian Cornell wrote in a note. to the employees.
The new standard at Target, on top of very healthy sales last year, could push other retailers to follow in its footsteps.
Distribution and call centers will have some staff on Thanksgiving, Target said Monday, but stores will remain closed.
Target started opening its stores on Thanksgiving a decade ago and joined other retailers in starting Black Friday sales a day early and creating a holiday rush after the turkey party. Many did so to compete with Amazon.com and other rising online threats.
But the shift seemed to merely cannibalize Black Friday sales. And major retailers received a backlash from critics, who said thousands of people were forced to work instead of being with family during the holidays.
Some stores and malls like the Mall of America in Minnesota completed practices and remained closed on Thanksgiving. Some, like Costco and Nordstrom, never opened their doors during the holidays and said they would respect the holidays.
Thanksgiving has historically not been a big sales day, not one of the top 10 because stores usually open their doors around noon. 17. However, it has been a great online sales day.
Last year, the holiday only followed Cyber Monday and Black Friday in online sales, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.
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