Last year, RadioShack was closed on Thanksgiving Day. After it experimented with opening on the national holiday in years past, it said that both employees and customers preferred regular Black Friday hours. “In honor of Thanksgiving and the time-honored tradition of gathering with family and friends, ” a spokesperson explained at the time, “RadioShack will open doors on Friday, November 29. RadioShack tested early opening on Thanksgiving in past years and found our customers and associates preferred a Black Friday opening.”
RadioShack employees will be disappointed this year. On Monday the store announced that it will open its doors at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, making it one of the earliest stores to open. It did adjust those plans slightly to say it will close most of its stores between noon and 5 p.m. in order to make sure employees can spend time with their families, a company representative told ThinkProgress. But then it will stay open until midnight.
In a memo about the hours obtained by Bloomberg News, CEO Joe Magnacca explained that the decision to open was driven by sales. “Last year we took a very different approach and only opened stores required to open per leasing agreements,” he said. “The result was disappointing sales for RadioShack, not just on that day but for the entire Thanksgiving weekend, due to non-competitive operating hours.”
But it’s not likely to pay off. Last year, stores that opened a day early didn’t increase sales over what they would have brought in on Black Friday anyway. That may be because most consumers say they won’t shop in stores on the holiday. Last year, a portion of shoppers were actually less likely to shop at a chain that opened on Thanksgiving.
It’s not the only brand to try and juice sales with holiday hours, however. Eleven others have announced Thanksgiving hours, with Kmart opening at 6 a.m. and Walmart staying open all day.
RadioShack employees certainly don’t seem to be happy about the change. Bloomberg reports that they are posting comments on an internal message board complaining about the holiday hours and short notice, with one store manager saying some have resigned. “My staff isn’t coming in…they refuse,” an employee posted. “I DON’T BLAME THEM.” They may have to forfeit their jobs in order to stay home for the celebration, however. No American worker is guaranteed the ability to take a paid holiday off.
Employees may be happier at those chains that are refusing to open early. Fifteen will be closed, many saying they’re doing so to allow their workers to enjoy an earned break to be with family and friends.