hhgregg is the latest electronics/appliance retailer to join the Thanksgiving Day backlash.
The chain, which last year launched its in-store Black Friday sales at 4 p.m. Thanksgiving afternoon, has made an about-face under new management.
“We stand behind our core values and beliefs of being a family-first company,” said president/CEO Bob Riesbeck. “It’s important to us that our associates are able to be home with their families on Thanksgiving, and we are encouraging our customers to do the same — knowing great deals will be available online, on Black Friday and through the weekend.”
Recently promoted marketing senior VP Chris Sutton added that with business trends over the past decade moving toward earlier holiday shopping, hhgregg is drawing a line in the sand — and is challenging fellow CE retailers to do likewise.
“We continue to see a shift in the marketplace and feel it’s time for electronics industry leaders to take charge and move the shift back, in order to give associates, and people in general, more quality time with family and friends,” he said.
But the move is not entirely altruistic: Riesbeck told the The Associated Press that the company’s Thanksgiving Day business has declined over the last two years as Black Friday sales extend out earlier into the week.
Consequently, the chain’s 220 stores will close at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving eve across all 19 states and reopen at 7 a.m. on Black Friday morning.
hhgregg joins a growing roster of industry retailers who are sacrificing sales to stay closed on the national holiday, including Staples, BJ’s, and longtime independent stalwarts P.C. Richard & Son and The Big Screen Store, the 12-showroom A/V chain serving the Baltimore/ Washington market.
“The Big Screen Store has never been open on Thanksgiving Day and I refuse, as the owner of the company, to do this to our company’s families,” principal Kevin Luskin told TWICE. “I am glad to see some common sense finally prevailing among those in our industry who choose to join us in this longstanding policy we have had here at Big Screen from day one.”
According to Black Friday advice site BFAds.net, 43 chains will go dark this Thanksgiving (about on par with last year), and another dozen are expected to follow suit. Here’s its list of holiday holdouts: A.C. Moore, American Girl, AT&T (customer service and select retail locations), Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond (select locations), BJ’s Wholesale Club, Blain’s Farm & Fleet, Burlington, Cabela’s, Christmas Tree Shops (select locations), Costco, Crate and Barrel, Dillard’s, GameStop, Guitar Center, hhgregg, Hobby Lobby, The Home Depot, HomeGoods, IKEA, Jo-Ann Fabrics, Lowe’s, Mall of America (subject to individual store changes), Marshalls, Mattress Firm, Menards, Mills Fleet Farm, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, P.C. Richard & Son, Patagonia, Petco, PetSmart, Pier 1 Imports, Publix, REI, Sam’s Club, Sierra Trading Post, Staples, The Container Store, T.J. Maxx and Tractor Supply.