The news: Big-box retailers are bucking the decade-long trend of opening stores on Thanksgiving evening as an early kickoff for Black Friday.
What this means: Early openings likely began as a way to get more consumers in stores to compete with the rising popularity of online shopping on platforms like Amazon. But now that these retailers have spent the pandemic beefing up their own ecommerce capabilities, many are finding the practice unnecessary.
While brick-and-mortar stores will still reign supreme on Black Friday itself, consumers are more open to shopping online on other days—including Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Day ecommerce sales will see the highest growth of all Cyber Five days this year, rising 20.7% to $6.10 billion, per our estimates.
Plus, the holiday shopping season is starting earlier and becoming more spread out, making it less important to stay open on a single day.
Finally, keeping stores closed on the holiday can generate goodwill.
The bottom line: Though Thanksgiving Day store openings have been the norm for roughly a decade, the practice seems to be drawing to a close almost as soon as it began. Today’s rapidly changing ecommerce landscape and shifting consumer behaviors may be the nail in the coffin.