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Macy’s to Open 5 PM on Thanksgiving, Heightening Tensions Over Store Hours

Douglas A. McIntyre

The reasons to shop online grew again as Macy's Inc. (NYSE:M) has decided to open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, a controversial decision for some who believe retail workers show have the entire holiday off. It joins a group of national retailers that have recently said what they will do in terms of hours over the Black Friday weekend.

The theory among many retailers is that people cannot stand to wait until Black Friday to begin their holiday shopping. Among the reasons are that shoppers may miss out on deals. Of course, this presupposes retailers are not bright enough to keep sufficient inventory for items they expect will be popular.

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Another reason retailers may be open on Thanksgiving is that shoppers would rather not shop on Friday. Perhaps they think stores will be too crowded or that they can't find parking spaces. That also seems to be an unlikely reason for huge numbers of shoppers to stay away.

The most likely reason for Macy's decision is that its management does not want people to go to other stores that have decided to open. One day's worth of market share may be worth something on the top line, although it would be hard to imagine it would be more than a little.

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BestBlackFriday.com has released a list of when national chains will first open on the big shopping weekend:

Based off of our experience, the following stores are expected (but not yet confirmed) to be open on Thanksgiving with the following estimated hours based off of data from previous years:

Best Buy (5 p.m. – Predicted Opening Time)
Dick’s Sporting Goods (6 p.m. – Predicted Opening Time)
JCPenney (3 p.m. – Predicted Opening Time)
Kohl’s (6 p.m. – Predicted Opening Time)
Kmart (6 a.m. – Predicted Opening Time)
Michael’s (6 p.m. – Predicted Opening Time)
Sears (6 p.m. – Predicted Opening Time)
Target (6 p.m. – Predicted Opening Time)
Toys R Us (5 p.m. – Predicted Opening Time)
Walgreens (8 a.m. – Predicted Opening Time)
Walmart (6 p.m. – Predicted Opening Time)

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If Macy's gains an advantage with its store hours, it won't be much of one. Too many other stores are open, and for those shoppers who do not drive, there is always Amazon.com.

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