The Buzz: Vote yea or nay on Thanksgiving Day store openings – Post-Crescent


Maureen Wallenfang


Appleton Post-Crescent

Published 12:56 PM EDT Oct 17, 2019

One of the perennial hot button issues of the Christmas shopping season is whether or not stores should be open on Thanksgiving.

Plenty of people object to stores being open that day because it means employees can’t be with their families for the holiday. Plus, they think one of the least commercialized holidays should stay that way.

But take a look at stores that do open on Thanksgiving, and you’ll see that they get plenty of shoppers.

The Fox River Mall in Grand Chute reaches the point of human gridlock late Thanksgiving night as people — mostly those in their teens and twenties — fill its hallways to socialize, look for early Black Friday bargains and buy a few things for themselves. 

There’s always that annoying person who proudly says he or she has finished Christmas shopping in one night.

Open on Thanksgiving

The Fox River Mall is not changing the way it handles shopping on Thanksgiving, which is Nov. 28. 

“It will be pretty much like last year,” said senior general manager John Burgland. 

For the past two years, the mall has been open from around dusk to midnight on Thanksgiving night. Stores had the option of being open or closed during that time. 

Anchor stores set their own hours and have exterior entrances. Last year, Macy’s, JCPenney and Target opened on Thanksgiving.

Last year, Penney’s was the only one of the three that opened very early, 2 p.m., and stayed open all night. It hasn’t announced what it’s doing this year. “This year we won’t be releasing our holiday hours until early November,” said spokeswoman Kristen Bennett.

Some of the big past players are gone, including Younkers, Toys R Us, Sears and Shopko. 

Besides Penney’s, Macy’s and Target, big Thanksgiving night players left standing include Kohl’s, Walmart, Best Buy, Dick’s and Old Navy. Most stores reveal their hours sometime in November.

Closed on Thanksgiving

Stores that were closed on Thanksgiving last year — and could do the same this year — include Barnes & Noble, Costco, Fleet Farm, Half Price Books, Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, HomeGoods, Joann, Lowe’s, Marshalls, Menards, Pier 1 Imports, Sam’s Club, Scheels, TJ Maxx and World Market. 

H&M and At Home are new to the Fox Cities this year. In other cities, their stores were closed on Thanksgiving last year. 

Fleet Farm already knows it will be closed Thanksgiving Day without question. 

“This has been our tradition for over 60 years, so our team members can spend the day with their families and friends,” said spokeswoman Amy Spencer. The store will open at 5 a.m. on Friday, the next day.

Have an idea for a business story? Contact reporter Maureen Wallenfang at 920-993-7116 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @wallenfang.

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