MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the past few years, American retailers have been engaging in what some call the “Christmas Creep.”
More and more stores and malls have been opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day. But on Wednesday, the Mall of America announced they will be closed Thanksgiving Day.
The mall said it was the right thing to do for the 15,000 workers, so they could spend Thanksgiving with their families.
But it also was a business choice. Most of the malls tenants do not feature the big doorbuster sales that lure early shoppers.
The mall’s decision is being cheered by workers.
“We literally had tears of joy from our retailers,” Jill Renslow, the mall’s senior vice president, said.
Tamra Kramer and her daughter own VOM FASS, a store that features unique and local spirits, spices, and oils.
“We are thrilled,” Kramer said. “Everybody wants to spend Thanksgiving with their families, and we are thrilled to be able to do that this year with the Mall of America’s support.”
The move is getting high marks from customers, too.
Shopper Ben Graff said it’s “nice to have a corporation taking care of its people.”
Not everyone will have the day off, however.
The mall said it will have security in place for any stores who might want to open on Thanksgiving, but they are expecting most stores will opt to close.
“Our tenants have the opportunity to be open,” Renslow said. “We are just giving them the opportunity to be closed.”
The mall will be posting on its website which stores will decide to open, but major mall attractions — including the movie theaters and Nickelodeon Universe — will not be open.
What is going to be interesting is if other retailers and malls will follow suit.
WCCO reached out to Target and Best Buy, local companies that have been opening on Thanksgiving for several years. Target said they have not yet made a decision about being open on Thanksgiving this year. WCCO has not heard back from Best Buy.