Economy

Patagonia Employees Can Stay Home On Thanksgiving Day

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All Patagonia stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, a spokesperson confirmed for ThinkProgress.

When asked why the store decided not to join some that have opened on the holiday itself for Black Friday shopping, the spokesperson responded, “It’s a holiday – we’re closed!”

The company takes time off pretty seriously. It offers parents of both genders two months of paid parental leave, lets workers set their own hours while locking its doors at 8 p.m. on weekdays to keep them from stretching too long, grants two-month paid sabbaticals for employees to work on environmental projects, and everyone takes vacations. It also offers on-site child care and covers the full cost of health care.

Its resistance to opening on a holiday isn’t shared across the industry. Macy’s has announced that its stores will open at 6 p.m. on the holiday this year, two hours earlier than it opened last year. Walmart will be open all day. More will probably join, as at least ten other major chains had workers come in so Americans could shop on the national holiday.

But there are others who are taking the same route as Patagonia, deciding to stay closed. American Girl, Burlington, Dillard’s, Coscto, Nordstrom, and Patagonia competitor REI have all confirmed that they won’t open. Some have explicitly said it’s to allow workers to celebrate the holiday with friends and family. Costco it will be closed because, “Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families.” Dillard’s explained, “We choose to remain closed on Thanksgiving in longstanding tradition of honoring of our customers’ and associates’ time with family.”

There’s likely little benefit of opening early. Opening on Thanksgiving Day doesn’t boost sales more than regular Black Friday shopping. Last year the vast majority of consumers said they wouldn’t shop on the holiday while half disapproved of the early openings.

And employees have little voice in whether stores decide to open. Twenty-one developed countries guarantee that all workers get paid holidays, but the United States doesn’t, leaving nearly a quarter in the private sector, and 45 percent in service jobs in particular, without the benefit. Last year some reported that their requests to take the day off were denied. Those volunteering for holiday shifts might not even be doing it because they don’t mind missing Thanksgiving dinner, but because their schedules are normally so erratic that they need the extra hours to get by.