The holiday shopping season is well underway and really heats up tomorrow as more than a dozen brick and mortar retailers open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. In doing so some are being cast as villains. But while competing for holiday spending dollars in the information age means making difficult decisions, choosing to open tomorrow could prove costly in the long run.
From an online petition signed by more than 10,000 people who want K-Mart workers to be given the option to take the day off, to dozens and dozens of Facebook posts condemning retailers who are open tomorrow, several big name companies are under fire while those who are opting to stay closed are being praised for putting their people ahead of profits. Here's a look at some of the big box stores open and closed tomorrow.
|Open on Thanksgiving||Closed on Thanksgiving|
|Toys R' Us||Dillards|
|J. C. Penney||Nordstrom|
|Kohl's||Burlington Coat Factory|
Retailers on both sides are standing firmly behind their decisions. ACE Hardware is keeping its 4,600 stores nationwide closed, the company saying quote: "Some things are more important than money."
Meanwhile, Macy's is defending its decision to open tomorrow night: "We are opening because customers tell us they are interested in shopping on Thanksgiving evening."
But why open on a day long considered a stay-at-home holiday? San Francisco based RichRelevance specializes in online shopping for big retailers.
"If I'm an offline retailer I'm constantly being put up against tougher and tougher sales numbers when the majority of the sales are growing online," says Jake Bailey, Vice President of Strategy at RR. Not are online sales growing, but by double digits. Last year online Thanksgiving Day sales jumped nearly 20 percent over the year before with another huge jump expected this year. Big box stores not just competing with desktop shoppers but tablet and mobile users as well.
RichRelevance recently surveyed consumers, young and old, on retailers opening for business on Thanksgiving Day. 63 percent of people 60 and older said they either "dislike" or "hate" the idea versus just 7 percent who said they "like" it, and their buying power cannot be ignored. Baby boomers outspend other generations by an estimated $400 billion on consumer goods and services annually.
"There's always a point of diminishing marginal returns when it comes to consumers being pushed further and further into the holiday season, you ultimately reach a breaking point where you say you know what? Enough is enough, I'll wait to shop," adds Bailey.
And that's the bottom line here--that while retailers are getting squeezed by a growing online marketplace, opening their doors on thanksgiving day could, in the long run, do more harm than good.
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