LEXINGTON, Ky. — Many stores in Kentucky will be closed this Thanksgiving, some stores are taking part in a nationwide trend in giving retail workers the day off to spend with family.
For years, even before the pandemic retail stores here and across the country have gradually eased away from opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day for shopping. Kaitlyn Brooks, is a Lexington resident who tries to knock out holiday shopping before Black Friday, mentions people shopping on the Thursday before Thanksgiving takes away from quality family time.
“I think it was a lot of consumerism that was pushing it to go earlier and earlier,” said Brooks.
Steve McClain from the Kentucky Retail Federation says the list of stores closed on Thanksgiving Day is growing longer each year.
“More have added to that to just kind of give their workers a break. So they can be with their family just like most everybody else is. So in most polls and surveys you see most people are OK with that, that you know the stores closing they kind of like that,” said McClain.
A recent poll from Driver Research reveals 57% of shoppers somewhat agree or strongly agree that retail locations should be closed on Thanksgiving. McClain says the supply chain shortage is affecting everything about the shopping experience. there may not be as many products to choose from, nor great deals.
“There may not be quite as many sales, you know deep discounts that people have been used to on certain products because retailers are wanting to try to ensure they have enough product to last throughout the entire holiday season,” said McClain.
Many people are getting a jump start with many Black Friday deals already underway online. The National Retail Federation predicts this year to have the highest holiday retail sales on record. NRF expects retailers will hire between 500,000 and 665,000 seasonal workers compared to 2020s 486,000 seasonal hires.
"I have actually seen if anything more people in the stores than usually. Just yesterday I went to Meijer to do regular grocery shopping and it seemed like the busiest day I have seen Tuesday in weeks,” said Brooks.
That may be because shoppers are worried about not finding the gift they want to give this holiday season.
“Let’s not turn Thanksgiving into just a shopping day, let’s ensure it is still about being with family and giving thanks and all that stuff,” said Brooks.
Brooks says she plans to take her business on Black Friday to small businesses instead of large retailers. The Kentucky Retail Federation is urging people this holiday season to be patient with retail employees and to have a plan if the gift you want to purchase is out of stock. Whether that be starting your Christmas shopping now or ordering online ahead of time. A full list of store closures can be found here on Thanksgiving Day.