After three years of being open on Thanksgiving Day, Office Depot Inc. has reported it will be closing all of its stores on Nov. 24.
Office Depot is only one of many stores and malls closing its doors on Thanksgiving Day. In recent years, stores have remained open on the holiday to extend their Black Friday deals and bring in as many shoppers as possible. The initiative didn't seem to work, according to The Wall Street Journal, as customers seem more inclined to skip the long lines and shop online.
Once considered the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday officially lost that title as it has been facing some stiff competition from online holiday sales, especially Cyber Monday.
"As we evaluated our store hours for this holiday and weighed the business and personal considerations, we decided it was best to provide our associates with the day off to spend time with family and friends," said Chief Operating Officer of North America for Office Depot Troy Rice, according to The Associated Press.
Alongside Office Depot, the Mall of America and mall operator CBL & Associates Properties will also be closing their doors. Although the businesses claim the decision is to let employees be with their families, it's in part also due to the desire to increase Black Friday sales as much as possible.
"The more and more we encroached on that holiday, I don’t know that we got a lot of benefit out of it," said Robert Riesbeck, CEO of hhgregg, which will also be closing all of its stores on Nov. 24. "You look back a few years, I think it lifted sales. The last two, three, four years, it has [only] shifted sales."
With no obvious financial benefits of remaining open on Thanksgiving Day, more companies are using the holiday to not pay employees and simply focus all of their efforts on boosting sales for Black Friday.