Retailers Face Backlash Over Holiday Hours, But Will Sales Surge?

By: WIBW (Posted by Kion Hudson)
By: WIBW (Posted by Kion Hudson)

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-- This Thanksgiving, more retailers are catering to customers who want to get a jump on the traditional Black Friday rush as stores across the country intend to keep their doors open for business on the holiday.

But for some stores expanded holiday hours have created backlash from consumers and franchise owners alike, who maintain that Thanksgiving should be reserved for spending time with family.

Holly Cassiano, the owner of the Sears Hometown store in Plymouth, N.H., was furious when she received a memo stating she was required to open at 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.

She told CBS News' Carter Evans that she immediately sent a letter to her corporate bosses insisting her store would remain closed.

“For us to just bypass this and say that the dollar figure is more important than us being with our families, it’s unacceptable,” Cassiano told Evans.

In a statement, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores said, “We have encouraged all of our dealers and franchisees to be open on Thanksgiving evening because we believe that is what many consumers want.”

It’s not yet clear whether the expanded hours will have an effect on sales, CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger said Thursday on “CBS This Morning.”

“It just depends,” Schlesinger said. “It’s estimated that 33 million people are going to be shopping today ... the more that we are in stores or online, the higher the potential there is for us to spend money.”

Looking to the weeks of holiday shopping ahead, Schlesinger said, the "National Retail Federation saying that we should see a rise of, say, 3.9 percent [in sales] over last year,” despite the six fewer shopping days this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

As a result of the shortened shopping season, “the stores are bringing out the bargains earlier and earlier,” she added.


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