25 Major Retailers That Give Employees Time Off for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here, and with it comes a very busy shopping season. Stores are opening earlier and earlier in a desperate bid to grab hungry bargain-hunters, many on Thanksgiving Day itself. Through it all, the employees of these stores have to be there with a smile and a helping hand, when most would much rather be at home with friends and family.

But, some major retailers are starting to fight back, preferring to give their employees time off over the holiday. Here are 25 stores that will not be open this Thanksgiving.

1. REI

Apart from being closed on Thanksgiving, the chain devoted to the outdoors is literally walking the walk this year by paying its employees to take Black Friday off, too. It’s all part of the company’s mission to help people enjoy the outdoors, and wants both its staff, and customers, to get out and enjoy nature. In an email sent to its members in over 140 stores around the country, REI stated: “Instead of reporting to work, we’re paying our employees to do what we love most — be outside.”

2. Patagonia

In typical Patagonia style, a spokesperson said, “It’s a holiday — we’re closed!” when asked about Thanksgiving Day hours. The company is famous for treating employees well, offering some exceptional benefits.

3. DSW

Need shoes, or big winter boots? Get them before or after Thanksgiving Day, because one of the biggest shoe retailers is staying closed. A spokesperson said, "While many retail stores will be opening for business on Thanksgiving Day, this year we continue the DSW tradition of keeping ours closed. Family time is extremely important to us, and we want our associates to enjoy the holiday with their loved ones.”

4. Nordstrom

“We won’t be decking our halls until Friday, November 27,” says the notice in Nordstrom windows everywhere. “Why? Well, we just like the idea of celebrating one holiday at a time. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.” Well said.

5. H&M

The clothing retailer known for giving people incredible bargains is closing all 400 of its stores this Thanksgiving. The decision was made by H&M president Daniel Kulle, saying, “In the tradition of Thanksgiving, H&M will close our U.S. stores on Thanksgiving Day, allowing our store teams to enjoy this time with their families and friends.”

6. GameStop

If you want new video games to play over the Thanksgiving break, make sure you get them before the big day. GameStop is closing on Thanksgiving, saying that it, too, recognizes the importance of family time. What’s more, the chain has put together this handy guide on helping with the “Holiday Shopping Blues.”

7. Ace Hardware, Home Depot, True Value, and Lowes

Don’t wait until the last minute for those essential DIY tools and fixtures, because the four big hardware stores are all remaining closed on Thanksgiving Day. Ace Hardware has been doing this for several years, and Home Depot, True Value, and Lowes are following suit. All four will be open on Black Friday though, with plenty of doorbuster deals.

8. Barnes & Noble

If you’re planning to settle down with a good book or movie after the Thanksgiving feast, get your shopping done ahead of time. Once again, Barnes & Noble is closed for Thanksgiving.

9. Costco and Sam’s Club

Both of the big warehouse stores will be giving their employees the day off on Thanksgiving. This means you can expect them both to be extra busy in the run up to the big day. So, get what you need well ahead of time, and leave the last minute shopping to the smaller grocery stores.

10. Jo-Ann Fabric Stores

Thanksgiving is usually a day when people start to put up holiday decorations. So, if you’re looking for those extras from Jo-Ann’s, get them beforehand.

11. Staples

Hopefully, you won’t be in need of any office supplies on Thanksgiving. If you do need printer paper, ink, pens, or anything else, get them from Staples early on in the week. The stores will all be closed on Thursday.

12. Petco and PetSmart

Remember, your pets need to eat on Thanksgiving day as well, so don’t forget them! The two biggest pet chains are closed however, so stock up on food, treats, and toys.

13. American Girl

My daughters both love American Girl, so I know for sure that they will be closed on Thanksgiving, but open again on Black Friday. However, don’t expect to see big discounts. AG is a little like Apple; they rarely have any kind of noteworthy sales.

14. Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Homegoods

All three discount retailers are owned by TJX, and as such, all of them share the same Thanksgiving policy — they will remain closed for the holiday. Black Friday, they are open for business.

15. Pier 1 Imports

One of the earlier stores to adopt this trend, Pier 1 Imports has been closed on Thanksgiving Day since 2011. And this year will be no exception. If you need something, get it now.

16. Burlington Coat Factory

Looking for a big winter coat? Don’t wait until Thanksgiving Day to go shopping at Burlington Coat Factory. All stores will be closed that day, but plan to open on Black Friday with some huge discounts.

17. Dillard’s

The big department store is once again closed on Thanksgiving, and has been doing so for 77 years. It will, of course, be open again on Black Friday.

18. Harbor Freight Tools

The DIY-lovers everywhere will not be happy. I know my father-in-law loves a stroll around HFT, especially to get out of the house and chaos for a few hours. But this year, it’s closed.

19. Babies R Us

Although it’s sister company, Toys R Us, will be open on Thanksgiving Day, the baby retailer has decided to stay closed. Stock up on diapers and formula!

And if you’re curious, the following stores WILL OPEN on Thanksgiving. While this may not be very good news for their respective employees, it could be very good for you if you forget something important.

Walgreens: Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Walmart: Open 6 p.m.

Rite Aid: Open at 8 a.m.

J.C.Penney: Open 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Kohl’s: Open at 6 p.m.

Best Buy: Open 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Target: Open 6 p.m.

Toys R Us: Open 5 p.m.

Macy’s: Open 6 p.m.

Sports Authority: Open 6 p.m.

Sears: Open 6 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Old Navy: Open 4 p.m.

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Lars Peterson's picture

Correction: An earlier version of this article noted that Dillard's has given its employees the day off on Thanksgiving "since 2011." A Dillard's spokesperson emailed to let us know that the company has been doing so since its founding 77 years ago. We have updated the article to reflect that.