Staying Closed On Thanksgiving Provides Brands An Opening

The following retailers were not open on Thanksgiving Day: 

Burlington Coat Factory
Barnes & Noble
Home Depot
Radio Shack
Sam’s Club
TJ Maxx

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?

2 thoughts on “Staying Closed On Thanksgiving Provides Brands An Opening

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more about stores not needing to be open on Thanksgiving evening. One of my first jobs out of college was working as an assistant manager for a men’s clothing store. I know first hand the horror of working retail. It sucks!! On top of that retail workers make slightly more than minimum wage to deal with a lot of crap from customers. The least retail stores can do for their employees is to not be open Thanksgiving evening. Surely the shoppers can wait unit Friday. If not SHAME on them!!!

    • Funny – another fellow responded about the horrors of his retail experience on another one of my channels. I think this proves all the more that retailers have the opportunity to change this dialogue, particularly around the holidays. No argument about the financial upside or that buyers are going to buy that day. It’s despite that fact that certain brands, knowing this, choose to remain closed for the sake of their people. This can only help crystallize the view of what’s important to that brand beyond the almighty dollar. Other brands will have a hard time making the argument that they are about valuing “their people” when their people are working on a day when most of the rest of America is not. And the “time-and-a-half” argument is not the kind of valuing I’m talking about.

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