Economy

Retailer Continues 29-Year Tradition Of Letting Employees Spend Thanksgiving At Home

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Mattress Firm, a mattress company with 2,300 stores in 38 states, will be closed on Thanksgiving Day this year to let its employees enjoy the holiday at home.

All stores will be closed on November 26 and open no earlier than 8 a.m. local time on Black Friday, the company told ThinkProgress in an email. “At Mattress Firm, we value the importance of family and tradition. Since 1986 we’ve set out to be a different kind of retailer, and because of that we won’t be following the trend of opening our stores on Thanksgiving Day,” President Ken Murphy said in a statement. “We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our employees throughout the year and believe they deserve to spend the holiday with their loved ones.”

This year’s decision follows past years when the store has closed to let employees celebrate the holiday with family and friends. It also joins a growing group of retailers who have decided not to open on Thanksgiving Day for holiday shopping this year. Reversing what it’s done in past years, this year Staples will be closed, as will GameStop and its other brands.

Last year, 12 major brands, including Walmart, Macy’s, Gap, and Toys R Us, opened their doors on Thanksgiving, requiring thousands of employees to be at work. While many of them claimed that the shifts were filled by volunteers, workers told a different story. Many at Target and Kmart said they had no choice over whether they were scheduled to work that day and faced getting fired if they were given a shift but refused to come in. Low-income workers and those in service sectors are also less likely to be offered paid holiday and vacation time they could use to take the day off.

More stores may be deciding it’s not worth it, however. Eighteen said they would stay closed last year and more may join. The brands may be looking at holiday sales numbers in making their calculations, which last year showed that opening on Thanksgiving didn’t increase overall sales but simply shifted them from Black Friday. Or they may be looking at the strong consumer sentiment that rose up against the idea of being open on a national holiday.