What began as a pandemic-forced measure is the new standard.
In an effort to limit in-store customers, retailers such as Target, Walmart, and Macy’s were forced to close their doors last to eager Black Friday shoppers – instead, offering the special deals for a longer amount of time, beginning in some cases in October. While Walmart and Macy’s will remain closed for their second year, Target is planning on remaining closed on the family holiday forever.
“What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard — one that recognizes our ability to deliver on our guests’ holiday wishes both within and well beyond store hours,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said to employees.
The move to close its stores on Thanksgiving Day in perpetuity, appears to have not only have had a positive impact on its employees, but for customers as well; making such deals for customers available for a longer period of time, rather than an all-out shopping weekend, resulted in an increase of 8.2% in sales in November and December of 2020 than the previous year, according to The National Retail Federation. The Federation also surmises that this year’s sales will escalate to as high as 10.5%.
Target, as well as other similar retailers, began opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day 10 years ago in an effort to launch their Black Friday sales in the wake of Amazon and other online companies.
This move “seemed to merely cannibalize Black Friday sales,” according to NPR. “And big retailers suffered some blowback from critics who said thousands of people were forced to work, rather than being with family during the holiday.”