Can there be any doubt at this point that corporate consumerism and family life just don’t get along? Kids fight and obsess over the newest and most useless crap, college funds are spent on the latest gizmos, stay-at-home parents have become practically extinct in the bottom 40 percent of the income spectrum, and family holidays like Thanksgiving Day have become little more than starting pistols for the race to “BUY MORE CRAP!” However, at least a few stores still care about the humanity of their employees and customers — reportedly. But hey, it’s a start.
Costco and Sam’s Club
The fact that Costco closes on Thanksgiving probably comes as no great shock; it’s been the Anti-Walmart for some time now, so it’s probably safe to assume that whatever Walmart is doing, Costco is doing the exact opposite. Which also evidently goes for business hours on Thanksgiving. Costco spokeswoman Beverly akada told the Huffington Post:
“Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families. Nothing more complicated than that.”
That’s a nice sentiment, and very likely sincere coming from Costco. But it’s also worth noting that Sam’s Club (which has always been Costco’s direct competitor) is also closing on Thanksgiving. And Sam’s IS Walmart. So, if you’re feeling cynical, you might just draw the conclusion that there’s simply not enough profit to be generated on Thanksgiving day to keep bulk stores like these open, after accounting for the holiday bonus pay et al. And there are still almost certainly employees inside busily gearing up for Black Friday.
However…in Costco’s case, we’ll give the benefit of the doubt. Sam’s, you’re still evil.
T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, HomeGoods and Sierra Trading Post
All of these stores are owned by parent TJX Companies, formerly known as T.J. Maxx. Of interesting note: The company is still headquartered in T.J. Maxx’s original hometown of Framingham, about an hour’s drive up the Massachusetts coast from Plymouth Rock, and 20 minutes inland from Boston. So, it’s probably safe to assume that TJX has a pretty healthy respect for the Thanksgiving holiday. And surprisingly, not just in America.
TJX is a global brand, with a heavy presence in both Canada and Europe. TJX will also be closing many of its stores in Canada on Thanksgiving day…provincial laws allowing. This includes the foreign-market HomeSense chain, sister company to our own HomeGoods. European locations will remain open.
Dillard’s, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus
Several upscale and luxury department stores will be closed on Thanksgiving, which is nice. Though you might be excused for feeling a bit of the old cynical twinge here. Macy’s and Saks Fifth have dominated Thanksgiving day for years, and they’re direct competitors for all of these. And it’s not as though Neiman Marcus customers are rushing in to beat each other to death over Black Friday sales. That’s what they have servants for.
Still, it’s nice to know that at least some people will get to spend a day at home with their families, rather than selling stuff to others that they could never afford to buy themselves.
Burlington Coat Factory, American Girl and Designer Shoe Warehouse (DSW)
These factory and designer outlet specialty shops will all be closed on Thanksgiving; in the latter two cases, probably for the same reasons Dillards and Nordstrom will be closed. All of these places specialize in either high-end products, or high-end products sold year-round at factory or designer discount deals. So, they’re not depending on a few hours’ jump on Black Friday.
Fun fact about Burlington: It’s one of the many companies acquired through hostile takeover by Mitt Romney’s vulture capitalist group Bain Capital, which still owns it today. So, Burlington is still worth avoiding, unless you feel comfortable sending a big, green Christmas card to Lord 47 Percent.
REI and Patagonia Sporting Goods
These two stores specializing in the hiking, biking and granola-healthy lifestyle (like TJX’s Sierra) will be closed on Thanksgiving day. Probably because the majority of their employees and customers plan to spend it attempting to digest three pounds of Tofurkey and vegan humus casserole.