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For the past few years, retailers have outdone each other in an attempt to be the first brick-and-mortar store to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. This year, however, one major retailer is doing the opposite. National retailer Staples has announced that it will close its doors on Thanksgiving Day so that its staff can celebrate the holiday as they wish.
"We want our customers and associates to enjoy Thanksgiving their own way," said Demos Parneros, Staples' president of North American stores and online via a press release.
For the past two years, Staples has been open on Thanksgiving Day, but a study by the National Retail Federation shows that online and in-store sales from Thanksgiving Day through the weekend dropped 11% last year, despite some retailers opening their stores earlier than ever. Approximately 133.7 million consumers shopped or planned to shop during last year's 4-day weekend, which was 5.2% fewer than the same period in 2013.
Does that ring a death bell for Black Friday? Not necessarily. Retailers have turned Black Friday into a month-long event, so if shoppers are spreading their purchases throughout the month, it's not too surprising that sales on Black Friday weekend would drop. And although Staples' physical stores will be closed, the retailer is still pointing consumers toward its website, which is open 24/7. The more interesting question is if other big retailers like Walmart, Target, or Best Buy will follow suit.
Readers, do you applaud Staples' recent announcement or do you prefer they remain open on Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments below.