Economy

GameStop Employees Will Be Able To Spend Thanksgiving With Family, Friends, And PlayStations

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GameStop and all of its brands will keep their doors closed on Thanksgiving Day this year so that its workers can stay home and celebrate the holiday.

All GameStop, Spring Mobile, Simply Mac, Cricket Wireless, and ThinkGeek stores will stay closed on November 26. They’ll re-open at 5 a.m. local time on Black Friday.

“We believe strongly that our customers and associates should have the opportunity to spend the Thanksgiving holiday relaxing with family and friends,” said Mike Buskey, executive vice president and president of U.S. stores, said in a press release announcing the decision. “We know this is in stark contrast to what many other retailers are doing, but we are taking a stance to protect family time during this important holiday.”

It’s the second brand to make the announcement that it won’t open on the holiday and require workers to come in so far this year: last week Staples said it would also close, reversing its decision for the past two years to be open. (GameStop closed last year as well.)

But it’s likely that many stores will once again be open for shopping on the national holiday, as 12 decided to do last year. While companies often say that their stores are only staffed by volunteers who want the extra hours, workers have reported a different story. Those at Target and Kmart said they weren’t allowed to request the day off and risked termination for refusing to come to work if they were scheduled on that day.

Others were outspoken about deciding to stay closed. Beyond GameStop, 17 shut their doors, many of them citing the fact that they wanted to respect their employees’ ability to celebrate a holiday with friends and family.

They may also have made a financial calculation. Last year’s holiday sales numbers showed that while more people shopped on Thanksgiving Day, fewer shopped on Black Friday, meaning no net increase for stores that opened on the holiday. There was also a strong consumer backlash against the idea of being open, as well as a legislative one.