That doesn’t mean shops and warehouses will be completely empty on Thursday. Black Friday is fast approaching and retailers need workers to prepare for the biggest shopping day of the year.
A small percentage of Target’s workforce, such as supply chain and service center employees, will still be working on Thanksgiving, a company spokesperson said.
Target said it has worked with employees to understand their schedule preferences at the start of the season, and employees who work on Thanksgiving will receive additional pay. Most Target stores will reopen at 7 a.m. local time on Black Friday.
Staying open on Thanksgiving had been a source of tension between retailers and labor rights activists in the past, especially as many retailers opened during the holidays to try and jump on Black Friday.
Labor rights activists have argued that workers should instead be home with their families for Thanksgiving.
In recent years, public pressure on retailers to close on Thanksgiving Day has faded. Rather, workers’ rights groups have focused on broader issues such as minimum wages, benefits and hours.
Some states, including Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island, have banned big box stores from opening on Thanksgiving Day. A California lawmaker proposed a law in 2016 that would have required some companies to pay double their employees to work on Thanksgiving, but it was not passed.
Why the Thanksgiving shutdown won’t hurt retailers
The holiday period used to be marked by a few key days, with Black Friday being the most important. Stores used the opportunity to accumulate most of their holiday sales. But with the growth of online shopping, retailers are no longer relying so much on vacations to drive sales.
Retailers also don’t want everyone to buy at the same time. So in recent years they have started their offerings and events earlier and spread them out throughout the season avoiding a demand crash which can put a strain on their stores and delivery networks.
The extended shopping season means stores can close on Thanksgiving Day without too much of an impact on sales.
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