Staples has become the first retailer this year to state that it will stay closed on Thanksgiving day.
“We want our customers and associates to enjoy Thanksgiving their own way,” said Demos Parneros, Staples’ president, North American stores and online, in a statement. The store will stay shut until Friday at 6 a.m. The website, however, will remain open for anyone who wants to shop from home.
The announcement goes against the general consumerist trend in recent years of stores opening earlier and earlier on Black Friday, to the point that store openings have cut into the traditional family time meant to be spent on Thanksgiving.
Last year, some reversal began with over 50 major retailers including Costco, Nordstrom, Saks, and Lowe’s staying closed on Thanksgiving.
While retailers are smartly marketing this as respect for their employees and strong family values, the reality is a little more complicated.
One reason may be that “holiday shoppers had hard-to-pass-up promotions as early as October and by the time Thanksgiving came around a lot of their shopping had already been done,” said National Retail Foundation spokeswoman Kathy Allen.
Online traffic also sees a boost when physical stores are closed, so it’s simply more practical for them to close on Thanksgiving.