It wasn't so long ago that holiday bricks and mortar shopping crept into an actual holiday: Thanksgiving Day. Retailers stretched back Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, into Thanksgiving Day, hoping to capture more sales while ostensibly helping shoppers work off their gluttony by racing around malls.
But a rebellion by some key retailers in the last few years saw that same Thanksgiving Day trot to the malls stepped on; they halted Thanksgiving Day shopping, giving customers, as well as employees, a well-deserved holiday break.
The pandemic accelerated that trend, and in 2021, an even wider swath of retailers, including some big names that had in prior years leaned into Thanksgiving hours, have announced they will not open on Thanksgiving Day. Yes, even in a year that will continue to be rattled by the historic supply-chain meltdown that will affect inventory and prices deep into the holiday shopping season.
Take a look at 61 stores, listed alphabetically, that won’t be open on Thanksgiving this year. Note that this list could grow; some retailers have yet to announce their Thanksgiving weekend plans. We'll revisit it as the season develops.
- Academy Sports + Outdoors
- A.C. Moore
- Ashley Furniture
- Barnes & Noble
- Bath & Body Works
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Belk (re-opens at 7 a.m. on Black Friday)
- Best Buy
- BJ’s Wholesale Club
- Burlington Coat Factory
- Calvin Klein
- Crate & Barrel
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Field & Stream
- Foot Locker
- Forever 21
- Golf Galaxy
- Hobby Lobby
- Home Depot
- J.C. Penney
- Mark and Graham
- Neiman Marcus
- Office Depot/OfficeMax
- Pottery Barn
- REI (also closed on Black Friday)
- Sam’s Club
- Simon Property Group malls
- Sur La Table
- The Container Store
- Trader Joe's
- T.J. Maxx
- Under Armour
- West Elm
- White House Black Market
- Williams Sonoma
- World Market
Many of these retailers note that they're still open 24/7 online. Of course. But if you are among those who love the old-school thrill of the Thanksgiving night physical hunt and are holding on to your tradition of shopping bricks-and-mortar stores during the holidays, spend the time you used to use shopping late on Thanksgiving Day and smartly plan your Black Friday-and-beyond holiday shopping.
If you need to duck away from the fam, football and food Thanksgiving Day and shop online, steer yourself to deals sites and online tools to find the best bargains.
Before you do any holiday shopping, it's wise to know stores' holiday return policies in case you change your gift-giving mind or your gift's a dud. And yes, even the big online player in the shopping game has some ground rules about, well, things you can't return to Amazon.
Bob was Senior Editor at Kiplinger.com for seven years and is now a contributor to the website. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.
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