For years the clock has turned back on Black Friday sales and shopping, prompting more retailers to open their doors during the day-before Thanksgiving holiday. Last year REI rebelled, doing the opposite with its #OptOutside social media campaign that shuttered doors on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Are more mainstream retailers following suit? Perhaps slowly.

“While the trend in recent years has been for more stores to open on Thanksgiving, it appears as though the outcry from employees and shoppers seems to be making a real difference. Retail workers do not want to work on Thanksgiving, and executives for major retailers know this. The problem is that competition is so fierce, it is difficult for the major stores like Walmart, Best Buy, and Target to close their doors on Thanksgiving,” said Eric Jones, owner of

He continued, “While we believe the nearly 50 stores that will be closing on Thanksgiving are doing it with good intentions, they have more flexibility to do it. For example, hhgregg had been open on Thanksgiving in recent years. In deciding to close this year, they mentioned family time for employees and customers. They also mentioned the fact that Thanksgiving has not been that profitable for them in recent years.”

The Mall of America, the largest mall in the U.S., announced it will close on Thanksgiving, but remain open on Black Friday. In fact, a wave of additional retailers have agreed to remain closed on Thanksgiving, including those on this list by

  • A.C. Moore (Allow employees to spend time with family)
  • American Girl
  • AT&T (Customer Service Closed; Select Retail Locations Closed)
  • Barnes & Noble (Allow booksellers to spend time with family)
  • Bed Bath & Beyond (Select Locations)
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club
  • Blain’s Farm & Fleet (Allow employees to enjoy the holiday with their families)
  • Burlington (Allow employees to spend time with family)
  • Cabela’s (Retail closed; Call Centers Open)
  • Christmas Tree Shops (Select Locations)
  • Costco
  • Crate and Barrel
  • Dillard’s (Allow employees to spend time with family)
  • GameStop (5 a.m. Black Friday opening)
  • Gardner-White Furniture (8 a.m. Black Friday opening)
  • Guitar Center
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Home Depot
  • HomeGoods (Allow employees to spend time with family)
  • IKEA
  • Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores
  • Lowe’s
  • Marshalls (Allow employees to spend time with family)
  • Mattress Firm
  • Menards
  • Mills Fleet Farm (Allow employees to spend the holiday with family and friends)
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom (non-store employees working )
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Outdoor Research
  • P.C. Richard & Son
  • Patagonia
  • Petco
  • PetSmart
  • Pier 1 Imports (Allow employees to spend time with family)
  • Publix
  • Raymour and Flanagan Furniture (8 a.m. Black Friday opening)
  • Sam’s Club
  • Sierra Trading Post
  • Staples
  • The Container Store
  • T.J. Maxx (Allow employees to spend time with family)
  • Tractor Supply
  • Von Maur (9 a.m. Black Friday opening)


So why shutter?
“We think it is a combination of profit potential and employee satisfaction,” Jones concluded. “While employee satisfaction is important, we still think huge profits can offset it. In other words, if a store is going to make enough money by remaining open on Thanksgiving, they will do it.”