Macy's bucks trend, opens even earlier on Thanksgiving

At a time when some retailers are retrenching when it comes to opening on Thanksgiving Day, Macy's is not only only going to welcome shoppers, but do it an hour earlier.

No sooner than they have finished their Thanksgiving dinners, shoppers will have the opportunity to visit Macy's stores at 5 p.m., instead of 6 p.m. like last year, the Cincinnati-based chain disclosed Monday.

"In response to significant, ongoing customer interest in shopping on Thanksgiving, both at Macy's and at many other retailers, we will be opening our full-line department stores at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day," says spokeswoman Holly Thomas.

Then, most stores will remain open until 2 a.m. on Black Friday -- considered the busiest shopping day of the year -- and reopen again only four hours later at 6 a.m. for yet another expected throng of shoppers, Thomas says.

Macy's bold move comes as the nation's largest shopping mall, the Mall of America, shook the retail industry by announcing it would close and give most of its 1,200 workers the day off on Thanksgiving -- although many of the mall's 520 stores were free to open on their own.

A slew of other retail chains are expected to close on Thanksgiving. Some chains are going even further. Outdoors supply chain REI closed its 143 stores last year for Black Friday and encouraged employees to literally take a hike, and enjoy some rest.

Macy's says it will be sensitive in recruiting employees to work the holiday schedule.

"We surveyed our store associates well in advance, giving them an opportunity to tell us their preferences, and we are working diligently to staff Thanksgiving with associates who volunteer," Thomas said. "Doing so means that our employees are able to make their own decisions about how they contribute to our most important and busiest weekend of the year."


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