MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The shopping frenzy known as Black Friday has turned into more than just a day-long, deep-discount event.
More stores are opening their doors several hours before Friday. This year some sales start at 6 p.m. Thursday. That also means workers and shoppers will be leaving the dinner table on Thanksgiving Day to head to stores.
But there are some retailers holding on to tradition.
For the second year in a row, Mills Fleet Farm is running a TV ad that proudly states all of their workers are taking the day off on Thanksgiving. Its stores are closed.
Images of family photos flash across the screen as the announcer says: “Mills Fleet Farm wishes you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. At Mills Fleet Farm, Thanksgiving is about family, food and football. Mills Fleet Farm is closed on Thanksgiving so our employees and customers can spend the entire day celebrating with family and friends. Mills Fleet Farm is built on strong family traditions. The holiday shopping season can wait. Til Black Friday, doors will open at 6 a.m. for the big two-day sale. Mills Fleet Farm, we love it!”
A company spokesman said Mills Fleet Farm is simply doing what it’s done since it was founded 58 years ago.
The stores are also closed on Easter and Christmas each year.
“It’s an American tradition. It’s a family tradition, and being that we are a family-owned business, family values and family traditions are very important to the company and to the ownership,” said Brad Hoff, a regional manager for Fleet Farm.
Menards is also keeping its doors closed on Thanksgiving Day.
A statement on the company’s website says: “As a family-owned company Menards believes Thanksgiving is a time of togetherness. With this in mind, we will be closed on Thanksgiving Day so you and our Team Members can celebrate this joyous time with family and friend. We will be open bright and early at 6 a.m. on Friday morning.”
Members of Unity Church-Unitarian in St. Paul are asking people to join them for their 6th annual Black Friday service. It’s at 10 a.m.
Paul Brazelton is a church member who is leading the planning committee for the event.
“We’re coming out of a day of thanks. We’re coming out of a day that we are showing gratitude for the things we have. Do we want to take a time to reflect on that day we just came out of and maybe use that sense of gratitude to inform our decisions going into the next month,” he said.
Brazelton says he’s not discouraging people from shopping, but he’s worried that Thanksgiving will soon be seen as just the start of the holiday shopping season.
“When people lose their sense of perspective, when they actually physically bust down the door or where they are aggressive to one another, those are the times when I feel things have broken down a little bit,” he said.
Nordstrom and Costco are also resisting the trend to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Those stores will also be closed on Thursday.