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The New York Times reports that while a number of retailers are competing to see who can be open earlier and longer on Thanksgiving Day this year, some retailers - including Costco, Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, Burlington Coat Factory, Crate and Barrel, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Patagonia, Marshalls, GameStop and T. J. Maxx - "are riding the backlash against holiday commerce by boasting that they will not relent: They will remain closed that day to show that they are family-friendly and honoring the holiday."

Richard A. Galanti, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Costco, explains it this way: "It’s an important holiday in the U.S., and our employees work hard during the holiday season, and we believe they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving Day with their family and friends. We’ve never opened on Thanksgiving, and when the trend to do so occurred in the last couple or three years, we chose not to because we thought it was the right thing to do for our employees."

Tony Bartel, the president of GameStop, says "it’s a matter of principle. We have a phrase around here that we use a lot — it’s called 'protecting the family.' We want our associates to enjoy their complete holidays.”

The Times writes that "the University of Connecticut Poll conducted a survey last November that found that nine out of 10 Americans said they didn’t plan to spend Thanksgiving hunting for bargains, while 7 percent said they planned to visit stores on Thanksgiving Day.
The poll of 1,189 adults, with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percent, found that 49 percent disapproved of stores opening on Thanksgiving Day, with 16 percent approving and 34 percent neutral."
KC's View:
I'm not sure I believe the survey; there wouldn't be so many retailers opening on Thanksgiving if just seven percent of the population is clamoring for it.

I remain a little conflicted about the decision to open on Thanksgiving. I wish retailers wouldn't do it out of respect for the holiday, but I also understand that they feel pressured by the simple fact that online competitors are open all the time, forever … and they feel like they cannot afford to be out of the game for an entire day.

That said, I really respect the companies saying "no" to Thanksgiving operations. They're making an important statement to their employees … and I suspect that their respect for their employees is playing out in other ways, as well.