Neiman Marcus confirmed to ThinkProgress that it will be closed on Thanksgiving Day this year.
As an explanation, the company said, “We hope our associates enjoy the time with family and friends.”
By contrast, other department stores Macy’s and J.C. Penney have decided once again this year to open their doors on the national holiday and begin Black Friday a day early, making some employees come to work rather than stay home with family and friends. In fact, 12 national brands will be open, including Walmart, which will be open all day, and Kmart, which will open at 6 a.m., although most of the others will open in the evening.
Neiman Marcus joins 15 others, including fellow clothing stores Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Burlington, T.J. Maxx, and Marshall’s, that will keep their doors shut so employees can celebrate at home. BJ’s Wholesale Club said it will close “to give our team a well-deserved holiday,” while Costco explained, “Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families.”
The stores that will open have mostly said shifts will be staffed by volunteers and seasonal workers, but the reality may be different. One Kmart employee says there has been no call for volunteers and she still doesn’t know her schedule, making it difficult to make holiday plans. Last year when she said she didn’t want to work a second shift on the holiday so she could spend it with her family, she was told she would be disciplined as absent. Other employees last year said their requests to take the day off were rejected. In protest, the Kmart worker’s daughter started a petition asking the store for more flexibility, which had more than 1,000 signatures as of Friday morning.
Kmart and other brands are in their rights, unfortunately, to deny their employees Thanksgiving Day. No American worker is guaranteed paid holidays, and in fact about a quarter don’t get that benefit. Service sector workers are even less likely to get holidays.
But they may not reap the rewards of higher sales by making employees work on Thanksgiving. Most consumers say they’re not going to shop in stores on the holiday itself, while last year some said early hours made them even less likely to go to a particular store. And stores that opened on Thursday last year didn’t see a sales boost above what they would have likely seen if they had just waited for Black Friday itself.