Costco is among the companies that will choose to remain closed on Thanksgiving Day, a spokesperson confirmed to ThinkProgress. None of the nearly 127,000 people who work for the company will have to come in on the holiday.
In explaining why it decided to stay closed, the spokesperson said, “Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families. Nothing more complicated than that.”
That makes at least five chain stores that have decided to resist the new trend of beginning Black Friday sales a day early, thus ensuring that a large number of employees will have to come to work. Dillard’s, Burlington, REI, and American Girl all told ThinkProgress they will remain closed on the holiday, and Dillard’s explained that its decision was part of its “longstanding tradition of honoring of our customers’ and associates’ time with family.”
Other stores have let the holiday shopping craze creep into workers’ Thanksgiving meal time. Macy’s announced this year that it will open at 6 p.m. on the holiday, while Walmart will be open all day, requiring nearly 1 million people to show up to work. The trend really took off last year, with at least 12 major brands deciding to open on Thanksgiving itself and thus require at least some people to be at work during mealtime.
Retail employees may not have a lot of choice about whether they come to work that day. Although many stores say shifts have been filled by volunteers, they may be volunteering because their unstable schedules don’t normally give them enough hours to live on. And many likely aren’t guaranteed any holiday time off, as the United States is the only developed country without a national requirement, leaving nearly a quarter of private sector workers and 45 percent of service workers without the benefit. Last year a few workers reported that their requests to take the day off were denied.