USA Today: Trend of retailers closing for Thanksgiving continues

UC business professor says employees will benefit by having the holiday off

A trend of retailers announcing that their stores will be closed on Thanksgiving will be good for employees and also could be good for the businesses, a University of Cincinnati professor told USA Today.

Lindner College of Business faculty members Kevin Hardy, Elaine Hollensbe, and Laurens Steed, photographed for a story about the Future of Work.

Laurens Steed, assistant professor, Department of Management

In the past, shoppers would leave Thanksgiving dinner to take advantage of Black Friday sales that sometimes stretched into Thanksgiving Day. A shift toward stores closing on Thanksgiving began in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and has continued even as the virus’ effects on everyday lives has decreased.

This year, retailers such as Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Kohl's and Walmart have announced their stores will be closed on Thanksgiving.

The closures will be positive for workers who get to spend extra time at home or with their loved ones, said Laurens Steed, PhD, an assistant professor of management in UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business.

“Research demonstrates that taking time away from work is good for employees so that they can recover from work stress, which has implications for their mental and physical well-being,” said Steed, whose primary research interest is employee well-being.

While closing for one day might not have much effect on the businesses’ bottom lines, it could help their public image while also benefiting their employees.

“In the grand scheme of all of the shopping that goes on in the holiday season, I’d be surprised if that extra 12 hours of shopping makes a difference to any giant retailer,” Steed said. “However, in any individual employee’s life, getting to spend a holiday with the people you care about can be worth so much.”

See more from USA Today.

Featured image at top: Black Friday shopper. Photo/ipopba via iStock

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