Fewer Black Friday sales planned for Thanksgiving Day

The holiday shopping season is underway at The Greene. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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The holiday shopping season is underway at The Greene. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Many retail chains that in past years had opened on Thanksgiving Day to kickstart Black Friday sales early are now keeping their doors closed for the holiday.

Target announced Monday that while the chain is closed Thanksgiving as a pandemic measure, it plans to make the change permanent.

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“You don’t have to wonder whether this is the last Thanksgiving you’ll spend with family and friends for a while, because Thanksgiving store hours are one thing we won’t ‘get back to’ when the pandemic finally subsides,” Target CEO Brian Cornell wrote in a note to employees.

Dayton Mall, The Mall at Fairfield Commons and The Greene Town Center will all be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Shoppers should check with specific stores with questions about their deals and hours.

Cabela’s will be among the few open on Thursday with sales. The sporting goods chain has a location in Centerville and open at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving and open 5 a.m. Black Friday, with deals like $10 flannel and $350 off a 9 inch touchscreen chartplotter by Garmin.

Black Friday was coined as a term in the 1960s to kickoff the Christmas shopping season, referring to stores moving from the red (a loss) and into the black (with a profit), according to BlackFriday.com, which aggregates ads and news on the holiday shopping season.

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Analysts with BlackFriday.com wrote that COVID-19 all but put an end to in-store shopping on Thanksgiving Day, as most retailers opted to remain closed for the first time in a decade.

“More and more, consumers are choosing to shop online, not wanting to wait outside in the early morning chill with a crush of other holiday shoppers or battle over the last most-wanted item,” they wrote. “This was happening years before, but the coronavirus pandemic pushed shoppers online more than ever in 2020.”

Additionally, many stores are offering deep sales early, spreading shopping out through November.

Nationally, 30.6 million people (about 9% of the U.S.) plan to shop either in-store or online on Thanksgiving Day, according to the National Retail Federation. Among those shopping on Thanksgiving Day, 65 percent are likely to do so in stores, up from 50 percent last year,

While Thanksgiving weekend will be busy, 61% of people surveyed for the National Retail Federation had already begun their holiday shopping, about the same as last year’s 59% but up from 51% a decade ago in 2011.

“Shopping early is a trend we’ve seen for years and it began long before the pandemic,” Prosper Insights & Analytics Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “While some consumers like the thrill of last-minute shopping and others just procrastinate, many prefer the comfort of having the shopping done early so they can relax and enjoy the season.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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