“What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard — one that recognizes our ability to deliver on our guests’ holiday wishes both within and well beyond store hours,” Target CEO Brian Cornell wrote in a note to employees.
The new standard at Target, on top of very healthy sales last year, could push other retailers to follow in its path.
Distribution and call centers will have some staff on Thanksgiving, Target said Monday, but stores will remain closed.
“What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard — one that recognizes our ability to deliver on our guests' holiday wishes both within and well beyond store hours."
- Target CEO Brian Cornell
Target began opening its stores on Thanksgiving a decade ago, joining other retailers in kicking off Black Friday sales a day early and creating a holiday rush after the turkey feast. Many did so to compete with Amazon.com and other rising online threats.
But the shift seemed to merely cannibalize Black Friday sales. And big retailers suffered some blowback from critics who said thousands of people were forced to work, rather than being with family during the holiday.
Some stores and malls, including the Mall of America in Minnesota, ended the practice and remained closed on Thanksgiving. Some, such as Costco and Nordstrom, never opened their doors during the holiday, saying they wanted to respect the holiday.
Thanksgiving had historically not been a big sales day overall, not one of the top 10, because stores usually opened their doors about 5 p.m. However, it’s been a big online sales day.
Last year, the holiday trailed only Cyber Monday and Black Friday in online sales, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.