Bucking the Trend: Hobby Lobby, Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond Choose to Remain Closed on Thanksgiving

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On Thanksgiving, who believes that retail stores should stay closed? Who believes the retail employees should be allowed to have the whole day off to give thanks and be with their family? Who believes this whole ‘Black Friday’ thing is very overrated?

Well there’s good news for at least a few employees of Hobby Lobby, Nordstrom and Bed Bath & Beyond, and….

In recent years the trend has been for major retailers like Walmart, Target and Macy’s to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day in effort to compete with the changing retail landscape for Christmas sales.

Events like “Cyber Monday,” the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend when folks have returned to work and may be more inclined to spend time shopping online for what they couldn’t get in stores, as well as the phenomenon of “Christmas Creep,” the process of retailers putting out Christmas merchandise prior to the start of the traditional shopping season, have all put a dent in Black Friday turnout.

Add to that the fact that Americans can shop online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without ever having to fight the crowds, and you have an environment in which it has become increasingly difficult for brick-and-mortar retailers to get their books out of the red and into the black (the derivation of the term “black Friday”) with vastly increased revenue during the last six weeks of the year.

Among the major retailers keeping their doors locked are Christian-owned arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby, upscale department store Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Barnes & Noble.

Hobby Lobby in particular is known for its traditional and family-centered values. The chain is one of the few major retailers that still willingly closes its doors every Sunday.

In a statement on its website, the company says:

“We have chosen to close on the day most widely recognized as a day of rest, in order to allow our employees and customers more time for worship and family. This has not been an easy decision for Hobby Lobby because we realize that this decision may cost us financially. Yet we also realize that there are things more important than profits. This is a matter of principle for our company owner and officers.”

The Western Journal spoke with Hobby Lobby’s communications coordinator, Bob Miller. When asked why the company has chosen to remain closed until Black Friday, despite pressures from competition, Miller stated:

“It has always been the practice of the Hobby Lobby to remain closed on Thanksgiving to allow employees to spend time with their families and to enjoy the day together. The owners of Hobby Lobby believe strongly in the importance of family.

“For that reason, we do not anticipate this policy ever changing,” he added.

The Seattle-based Nordstrom echoed similar sentiments. In a statement to The Western Journal, Nordstrom Senior Fashion PR Specialist Anya Pavlovic said:

“Our stores have always been closed on Thanksgiving so that our employees can spend time with family and friends. Customers who want to shop with us on Thanksgiving can visit Nordstrom.com, NordstromRack.com and HauteLook.com.”

Despite — or perhaps because of — the choice to remain closed on Thanksgiving, Nordstrom’s profits for fiscal year 2016 “exceeded expectations,” according to a report on the company’s website.

The same goes for Hobby Lobby. It has continued to grow.

In the long run, is it really worth being open on Thanksgiving? Shouldn’t stores rethink their values? Shouldn’t employees be allowed to celebrate with their families and be allowed to spend the whole day with their loved ones?

Thanksgiving is meant to be with extended family. It’s meant to reflect on all that we have and share. Thanksgiving is a holiday to give thanks to our Almighty God for the food we receive, our family that can share in the celebration, our military that gives us our freedom, and our blessings that we receive each and every day.

Thanksgiving is about the smell of a turkey roasting in the over after several hours of basting in delicious broth and dressing. It’s about the homemade mashed potatoes that have been prepared by grandma for years. It’s about the busy pots and pans, dishes, the side dishes of sweet potatoes, vegetables, cranberries and much more. It’s about the traditions old and new. Thanksgiving is about the plates and silverware spaced neatly on the fine linen with glasses of wine and water nearby. It’s about the celebration. It’s about family. It’s about giving thanks for the blessings we have and receive. It’s about being home for the holidays.

Here’s a list of 30 stores that were closed on Thanksgiving.

Let us know what you think about stores being open on Thanksgiving. Do you think stores should be closed?


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