The following retailers were not open on Thanksgiving Day:
Burlington Coat Factory
Barnes & Noble
To me, it’s just common sense. To these brands, it represents an opportunity to show that they actually care about the home life of their people over the almighty dollar (and seriously, shoppers couldn’t wait until Black Friday anyway?). It’s a stand worth continuing for their culture, loyalty and values. Kudos to them.
See, here’s the challenge for any brand that wants to walk the walk and talk the talk – it’s one of brand consistency when you hang a frame in your conference room that says you care about your people (is paying time-and-a-half really caring? Ehhh.) and then you ask them to work on one of the days traditionally reserved for family. Moreover, let’s review who gets to tell a more interesting story as a result of remaining closed – your customer who says, “Good for Nordstrom to do that,” or your CEO who has to give a carefully-worded statement justifying the company’s actions.
Which one sounds more positive to you?
Oh, I know that some cynics will say that money talks and the opportunity to cash in big-time outweighs all. In some companies, maybe that’s just the way it’s going to be.
Yet…in a place like Nordstrom, which already has plenty of great customer service stories to be told, sticking to keeping the doors closed on Thanksgiving might just keep some very valuable people happy, so they can continue to be a part of the team for a long time and contribute to more of those positive customer service stories being told for years to come. Not to mention the good things they may say about their own employer. They could be told verbally, on video, throughout social media channels, etc.
And I’ll bet that has a chance of happening more frequently than when treating Thanksgiving as just another retail day.
There are a lot of people who have their opinions on retailers being open on Thanksgiving – and it’s not entirely one-sided either. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Weigh in, won’t you?