Shoppers heading to the Mall of America on Thanksgiving will only have three stores to choose from, as retailers are embracing its decision to close on turkey day.
The Bloomington megamall announced last month it won't be opening on Nov. 24 in order to "give the holiday back" to the 15,000 people working there, and in doing so bucked a recent Black Friday trend that has seen sales start on Thanksgiving evening.
The mall said it would keep its doors open in case individual stores wanted to stay open, but on Monday it told GoMN that only three stores are staying open – Macy's, Sears and Crayola Experience, all of which have exterior entrances.
Other stores with exterior entrances at the mall, including Nordstrom, Forever 21, and L.L. Bean, have decided to stay closed. Even Best Buy, which is opening nationwide at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving, will not open its Mall of America store.
Because the retailers inside have all decided to close, doors to the mall will lock up at around noon – after the end of the annual Walk to End Hunger event – and won't re-open again until 5 a.m. on Black Friday.
"The reaction from our retailers has been overwhelmingly positive and wholeheartedly supported," Dan Jasper, a MOA spokesman, told GoMN, adding: "We are so pleased that our tenants have embraced this opportunity to give their employees the day to enjoy Thanksgiving with their families and friends."
The MOA's decision was followed by mall chain CBL, which owns Burnsville Center and announced a week later that while exterior outlets could open should they choose, the mall itself will be closed.
According to CNBC, CBL found launching its Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day didn’t make retailers much extra money.
That’s because rather than encouraging more shopping, it just spread it over the two days, with CBL CEO Stephen Lebovitz telling the TV station: “It’s lost its luster because we’ve diluted it. … We want to bring back Black Friday and make it fun.”