Posting here a former Macy's employee ( 5 years ) and also former Federated for 14 years.
Yes there was a time when most retailers were closed on Holidays such as Mem. Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. Decades ago Washington's birthday was only promoted in the large cities; ( and only by small family run camera, appliance and discount stores ) but when retail heads heard of the $ volume opportunities the promtions started. Time moved on and with the rise of the national discount chains in the 1970's there was a move to open on Memorial Day and the $ flowed in.
However, in 1970 on a week to week comparison there actually was very litle difference between having :
* a "Memorial Week Sale" over the Friday-Saturday ( closed Sunday ( Closed Monday the holiday and then open the follow Tue-Wed-Thurs.
* and having a Memorial weekend sale over the same period ( stil closed Sunday ) but open Monday 10 to 6 ) and including the $ volume thru Tue,Wed, and Thurs. The reason for similar total weekly volume? A large dropoff of $ sales following the Memorial Day on that Tuesday and Wednesday.
The same is seen currently on weak sales volume on Mondays thru Thursdays now that stores are open Sundays.
Those of you who work for Bloomingdales know that the week totals for Chestnut Hill, Mass (closed on Sundays ) differs very little from other Bloomies open 7 days a week.
When Macy's first opened on Memorial Day the sales staff was paid time and 1/2 for working Memorial Day , PLUS another day off at regular holiday pay during the following week.
In commission sales the staff was paid Holiday pay for working Memorial Day, plus their earned commissions for that day, plus another day off during the next week at their holiday rate.
Of course all of this has been eroded over the years to now most retailers have eliminated paying holidays at all except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And to top it off the hours that stores operate on a holiday has become longer as well ( originally 10am to 6pm ) is now open 8am to 9:30pm ( or 10pm )
Although most retailers never paid for Easter Sunday watch for that day to "fall" as a day off and become an open day for business as the tone of Easter has changed from a "dress up the family day" to one of running around in jeans and a t-shirt. Once the suits observed how busy the Lawn centers, Garden stores and discounters were on Easter Sunday..well...let's open those doors and do business.
It amazes me that some jackass suits have had the urge to keep their stores open till 9:30pm on the 4th of July...when most customers are at fireworks displays after 8pm.
Next ...you stupid suits...why not open on Christmas Day? So that customers can make their gift card redemptions even earlier???
Also, in that method : Christmas is no longer a closed ay and thus eliminate the holiday pay.
Very interesting facts! I'm sure it will not be long before we are open 365 days a year. I'd like to see those "jackass suits" working on holidays. I have always said if you are open "normal" weekday hours 10 -9, the customer will find a way to shop during those hours. If you are open 8 - 11, a few stragglers wil come in early and a few will hang around simply for something to do till 11. I cannot believe the increased sales in those extra hours or holidays makes up for the extra payroll etc. Wouldn't it make sense to have more people there during regular hours to actually service the customer?? Instead as i said before the sales associates are the first to have their hours cut.