Thanksgiving and retailers

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Thanksgiving is a sacred day in the United States, where families and friends gather to express gratitude for their accomplishments (Sanchez, Zemsky, & Editors, 2015). Since its inception in 1863, all shopping establishments have been forced to close for the holiday. According to a recent survey, however, a significant number of shops nowadays insist on opening as scheduled or for a specified time, during which their employees are expected to register for duty unless otherwise reported. As a result, the opening of stores petition the service within the day bears weight on profit margins. While it is not a valid excuse, I believe stores should be open on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, nowadays, the world is capitalistic.
While it seems doubtful that their petitions will influence the business positively, retailers such as Kmart and JCPenney, Macy’s, Big Lots and Walmart open during the Thanksgiving holiday (Gore, 2016). Staples, on the contrary, decided to close the stores as from 2015 with a plea that it wants its employees and customers to enjoy the holiday unconditionally (Zarya, 2015). However, according to research, it is contradictory that Staple did not shun away from the business entirely. It pulled closer the Black Friday, an online retail platform to operate during the Thanksgiving. As this may sound rigid, and perhaps it is, an economist at Belus Capital, announced that people flocked to the stores during the Thanksgiving, but they did not spend as much money as anticipated (Sozzi, 2014). Nonetheless, they went to confirm the products, which they would shop during the Black Friday offer. Remarkably, the New York Mall Owner as well forced its stores to remain open with an hourly penalty imposed to those retailers who failed to comply (N.Y. Mall to Fine Stores That Refuse to Open on Thanksgiving, 2014).

On the other hand, however, an increasing number of retailers, on the contrary, have remained upstanding with their decision to close operations on the Thanksgiving Day. They hold that holding back business on holidays keeps shopping alive. For instance, some malls and stores such as Marshalls, Nordstrom, Cabela’s GameStop, DSW, IKEA and TJ Maxx remain closed during the holiday (Gore, 2016). Unlike the Kmart, nonetheless, these retailers do so to avoid commercialization of that day as much as possible. Some take it is a sacred day that ought to be honoured. According to a social media survey, the public may also view it as employee exploitation, an image that no stores would like. Nonetheless, because of their competitor's operation, implementation of closure has been problematic.

Even so, I still stand by the opinion that retailers should open during the Thanksgiving. Staying closed will gain nothing but consumerism forfeiture, whereby closed shops will lose sales to their competitors, hence giving the incumbents a competitive advantage (University, 2013). Moreover, most consumers are loyal shoppers. They have a planned family budget with which they will buy instant stuff in the open stores. Others exhaust their shopping during the celebration, hence rushing for extras in the shops. Just to terminate the inquisitiveness, imagine a situation where the stores are entirely non-operational. It would affect not only the store but also its corporate social responsibility (CSR) (O’Brien, 2014). It is essential, therefore, necessary to remain open to grab a piece of the pie as well. Indeed, better half bread than none.

According to the study likewise, a significant number of American consumers have shown enthusiasm in lining up outside Wal-Mart, Kmart, and their affiliate stores before diminishing their Thanksgiving meals (O’Brien, 2014). The observation, as such, anticipates that more shoppers will be visiting the stores as time goes. However, if they choose to close, they would indeed close even a cost that would not be recovered. A Finance professor, Tom Arnold in writing, told The Motley Fool that he suspects a rise in consumerism demand during Thanksgiving hence some shops should remain open.

Additionally, as a CSR, opening on Thanksgiving is an abundant opportunity for a significant number of low-paid Americans. They can make extra income above their pay levels ahead of the Christmas celebrations. The additional revenue comes from commitment and overtime allowances. It is also an opportunity for the business to grow as they can make more sales than usual (O’Brien, 2014). For the record, according to Wharton University 2013, the total sales on Thanksgiving were about 1.5 billion dollars in 2012, a value that has appreciated with shops operating during the holiday. According to reports by comScore as well, consumerism increased up to 32 percent that year, but again has hiked to 132 percent over the last four years, hence making more sales, which creates a greener ground for business development.

In conclusion, retail stores should open on Thanksgiving. It has a competitive advantage. Moreover, business during that day promotes a better CSR by supporting not only shoppers but low-income individuals as well. The shop also increases sales hence giving it an opportunity for corporate growth.


Gore, L. (2016). What stores are open Thanksgiving 2016? Hours for Walmart, Target, Kohl's, Best Buy and more. Retrieved 14 March 2017, from

N.Y. Mall to Fine Stores That Refuse to Open on Thanksgiving. (2014). Aol.Finance.

O’Brien, G. (2014). Why Thanksgiving Day Store Openings Are Bad Business | Business Ethics. Retrieved 14 March 2017, from

Sanchez, R., Zemsky, R., & Editors, t. (2015). The Ethics of Working on Thanksgiving -. The Good Men Project. Retrieved 14 March 2017, from

Sozzi, B. (2014). What REALLY just happened on Black Friday?. CNBC. Retrieved 14 March 2017, from

University, w. (2013). Thanksgiving Hours: Competitive Advantage or 'Really Inefficient'?. Knowledge@Wharton. Retrieved 14 March 2017, from

Zarya, V. (2015). This Retailer Wants To Take A Stand Against Black Friday Shopping Madness. Retrieved 14 March 2017, from


August 18, 2021

Life Culture


Lifestyle Holidays

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