Target will no longer open its stores on Thanksgiving Day, making permanent a shift to the unofficial start of the holiday season that was suspended during the pandemic.
Retailers last year were forced to turn what had become a weekend shopping blitz into an extended event with holiday sales beginning as early as October to limit the number of people in stores during the pandemic.
That forced shift during the holidays, however, turned out to be a good move.
U.S. holiday sales in November and December rose 8.2% in 2020 from the previous year, according to The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group. The trade group predicts that this year could shatter last year’s record, growing between 8.5% and 10.5%.
“What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard — one that recognizes our ability to deliver on our guests’ holiday wishes both within and well beyond store hours,” Target CEO Brian Cornell wrote in a note to employees.