Customers leave the Macy's store along the Magnificent Mile in Chicago.
(Photo: Scott Olson, Getty Images)
For the first time, most Macy's stores will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, the company said Monday. In previous years, Macy's opened at midnight on Thanksgiving.
The Chicago Sun-Times first reported Sunday that Chicago stores would open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, citing five employees at a Macy's in The Loop section who said the retailer would remain open for 24 hours.
Following a trend already adopted by other retailers in years past, Macy's says in a release that the earlier hours are "in response to interest from customers who prefer to start their shopping early." As competition between both brick and mortar and online retailers intensifies, stores have continued to open earlier in recent years in an effort to offer customers the best deals as soon as possible.
Toys R Us led the "holiday creep" when it decided to open at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving night two years ago. Last year, it pushed its opening to 8 p.m. Retailers including Target, Walmart, Sears, and Kmart followed suit. All opened Thanksgiving night at either 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. last year and stayed open through Black Friday.
Retailers have said the earlier Thanksgiving hours appeal to customers' desire to shop following family gatherings. But the move has not sat well with employees, who often have to sacrifice their own family time to be at work. For the past two years, employees at retailers including Target, Toys R Us and Walmart have started petitions against those stores' holiday hours, often gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures. Even Macy's attracted a petition for opening at midnight last year. None of the petitions was successful.
Some employees don't seem to mind the holiday hours. Manar Flynn and Trevor Brown, who both work at the Macy's in Tyson's Corner, Va., worked Black Friday last year and weren't bothered by having to come into work. Flynn even called the shift "kind of fun."
Flynn says she wouldn't mind working the holiday again this year. "You're getting paid for it," she says.
Says Brown of his shift last year when he worked at the Macy's at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Va.: "It's just for a day, so it wasn't that bad."