BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The Mall of America (MOA) will again push back on early Black Friday sales and close on Thanksgiving.

The Bloomington megamall is taking it a step further this year and offering holiday pay on Black Friday for the 1,200 people it directly employs. Mall of America took a stand against encroaching on Thanksgiving last year, while other big box stores and shopping centers opened on the holiday to capture early sales.

In a letter sent to MOA employees Thursday morning Mall of America Executive Vice President, Rich Hoge and Senior Vice President, Jill Renslow said, “After much consideration, we are happy to share that Black Friday will be treated as a ‘seventh holiday’ in our calendar year. As the busiest day in the retail industry, we believe Mall of America employees dedicating their time on Black Friday should be rewarded with holiday pay.”

“We value our employees and understand that you are at the front line of assuring outstanding guest service,” said Hoge and Renslow in a written statement. “We continually search for ways to reward Mall of America team members that go above and beyond. That’s why we are treating Black Friday as a ‘seventh holiday’, rewarding all eligible employees with holiday pay.”

MOA doors will open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday, with gift cards for the first 200 people in line that will range from $10 - $500.

Although the holiday pay decision does not impact the employees of the 520 stores, restaurants and attractions at the Mall, MOA officials say a fun holiday addition will be announced in the coming weeks to honor these employees during the month of December.

CBL Properties said on it's website that owns 78 enclosed shopping malls around the country, and all of them will be closed on Thanksgiving. .