Major retailers to close on Thanksgiving Day |

Major retailers to close on Thanksgiving Day

Target will no longer open its stores on Thanksgiving Day, making permanent a shift to the unofficial start of the holiday season that was suspended during the pandemic.

Retailers last year were forced to turn what had become a weekend shopping blitz into an extended event, with holiday sales beginning as early as October, to limit the number of people in stores during the pandemic.

That forced shift during the holidays turned out to be a good move for the bottom line.

U.S. holiday sales in November and December rose 8.2% in 2020 from the previous year, according to The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group. The trade group predicts that this year could shatter last year’s record, growing between 8.5% and 10.5%.

The new standard at Target, on top very healthy sales last year, could push other retailers to follow in its path. In Summit County, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and REI also will be closed.

Seven years ago, REI started its own tradition of being closed on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. The move was part of its #OptOutside campaign to encourage its employees and customers to head into the outdoors, rather than shopping malls, during the holiday weekend.

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