Shoppers filled up Target stores on Black Friday in Chicago.
John Grace | Corbis History | Getty Images
Target will no longer open stores on Thanksgiving, thereby permanently shifting to the unofficial start of the holiday season that was suspended during the pandemic.
Last year, retailers were forced to turn the weekend shopping boom into an extended event, starting holiday sales as early as October to limit the number of people in stores during the pandemic.
However, this forced transition during the holidays proved to be a good move.
According to data from the National Retail Federation, the largest retail trade group in the United States, holiday sales in the United States in November and December in 2020 increased by 8.2% over the previous year. The trade organization predicts that this year may break last year’s record, with a growth rate of 8.5% to 10.5%.
Target CEO Brian Cornell (Brian Cornell) wrote in a report to employees: “Initially an interim measure driven by the pandemic, it has now become our new standard-the standard recognizes that we have Ability to satisfy guests’ holiday wishes during business hours and far beyond business hours.”
Target’s new standards, coupled with last year’s very healthy sales, may push other retailers to follow suit.
Target said on Monday that the Target distribution and call center will have some employees on Thanksgiving, but the store will remain closed.
Target began opening stores on Thanksgiving Day ten years ago, started Black Friday promotions with other retailers one day in advance, and created a holiday craze after the turkey feast. Many do this to compete with Amazon.com and other rising online threats.
But this shift seems to only eat up Black Friday sales. Large retailers have also suffered some counterattacks, accused of forcing thousands of people to work on family vacations.
Some stores and shopping centers, such as the Mall of America in Minnesota, ended this practice and closed on Thanksgiving. Some, such as Costco and Nordstrom, never open their doors during the holidays, indicating that they want to respect the holidays.
Thanksgiving is not a big sales day in history, nor is it one of the top 10 because stores usually open around 5pm. However, this is a big online sales day. According to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, online sales during the holiday last year were second only to Cyber Monday and Black Friday.
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