Mall of America will close for Thanksgiving – but that doesn't mean every store has to

The megamall will be closed – but will all its stores follow suit?
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This story is part of GoMN's 2017-18 Winter Guide.

Mall of America will not be open on Thanksgiving this year, but that doesn't mean some stores can't choose to do business that day. 

The mall on Thursday morning announced that most of its 15,000 employees will have Thanksgiving off. 

So while retail employees at places like Target, Walmart or Best Buy will (likely) need to head into work that Thursday evening, the mall-run operations (such as Nickelodeon Universe) will be closed up.

Related: 

Which stores will be open – and which will be closed – this Thanksgiving

(The mall refers to this as a "continuing tradition," but this is only the second year in a row it's closed on Thanksgiving. In fact, it welcomed 100,000 shoppers through its doors in 2014.)

All that said, Individual stores can make their own choice.

Will some stores be open?

Last year Macy's, Sears and the Crayola Experience opened their doors on Thanksgiving. They were the only three at the mall to do so.

And all of them have exterior entrances, so the mall was able to locks its doors once the Thanksgiving morning Walk to End Hunger (which is returning for its 10th year) finished up.

Sarah Grap, senior public relations manager for Mall of America, told GoMN the 2017 policy will be the same.

Stores with direct access from the outside may choose to open. As for shops that are indoors, Grap said the mall is encouraging them to stay closed on Thanksgiving – and thinks they all will.

The mall hasn't heard from any of the 520-plus stores/restaurants that they plan to open on the holiday, at least at this point, she added.

Black Friday: Early start

It's a 5 a.m. start for Mall of America on Black Friday (same as last year), with a couple of bribes to get you there early.

At the north entrance, the first 200 guests in line will get a Mall of America gift card – worth anywhere from $10-$500. 

Related: 

Target said it would hold off on Xmas advertising – here's what that actually means

And the megamall will host a "Mystery Scratch Off" event. From Black Friday through the following Monday, a "limited number" of scratch-off tickets will be given to early-arriving guests at the north entrance. Prizes for winning tickets include gift cards, electronics, and "high-end retail products," the mall says.

And some extra pay for workers

Mall employees who have to work Black Friday will get holiday pay, with the shopping bonanza considered a seventh holiday, MOA says.

This applies to people who work directly for Mall of America or at Nickelodeon Universe – not the employees at each individual store (though the mall is promising a fun acknowledgment of those workers sometime in December).

"As the busiest day in the retail industry, we believe Mall of America employees dedicating their time on Black Friday should be rewarded with holiday pay," said Executive Vice President Rich Hoge and Senior Vice President Jill Renslow in the announcement, adding: “We value our employees and understand that you are at the front line of assuring outstanding guest service."

This story is part of GoMN's 2017-18 Winter Guide.

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