Every Thanksgiving Day there’s a hue and cry across the nation, and it’s not just over football or the last piece of pumpkin pie.
No, we’re talking about the annual debate over whether retailers should be open for business on a national day of gratitude, and whether it’s right to keep store staff away from friends and families, overtime notwithstanding.
While Black Friday market forces and consumer acceptance have forced the doors open ever earlier, there remains a small but growing cadre of retailers who choose to take the top-line hit and keep their stores closed.
Gregg Richard, president/CEO of P.C. Richard & Son — he of the keep Thanksgiving Day sacrosanct camp — said he was reminded of how big that hit actually is during a strategy session at this week’s NATM Buying Corp. meeting.
Nonetheless, the family-owned business will continue to put family first, and what it loses in sales volume it will make up for in customer and employee appreciation and media attention, based on the letters and press mentions he receives every year, Richard said.
Joining P.C. Richard this year are five other electronics and/or appliance sellers who were “officially confirmed” by shopping advice site BestBlackFriday.com, including GameStop; the BJ’s and Costco warehouse club chains; and home improvement lords Lowe’s and Home Depot.
According to BestBlackFriday co-founder Phillip Dengler, at least 30 other retail chains are 99.9 percent certain to be closed for the holiday, but await formal confirmations.
As for other leading big-box merchants like Best Buy and Walmart: “There is no chance the top stores will close on Thanksgiving,” Dengler said, “but there could be a few surprises this year.”