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50% of Americans Oppose Stores Opening All Day on Thanksgiving Day, While 33% Say More Time for Holiday Gift Shopping is a Great Idea
Nov 11, 2014

Coveted Millennials Score Far Higher in Supporting Expanded Thanksgiving Day Shopping Hours – Is All-Day Holiday Shopping on Thanksgiving Day Inevitable?

The latest LoyaltyOne research shows there are three kinds of American Thanksgiving Day shoppers:

  • 50% who say all-day shopping hours on Thanksgiving Day are a bad idea that detracts from the traditional celebration
  • 33% who say stores being open all day Thanksgiving is a great idea that provides more time for holiday gift shopping
  • 17% who can’t make up their mind.

In the all-important Millennial demographic (ages 18-34), attitudes about stores being open all day on Thanksgiving shift dramatically compared to the general population (ages 18-55+). No less than 50% of consumers age 18-24 say all-day shopping on Thanksgiving is a great idea. That support dropped only slightly to 48% in the 25-34 year-old age group.

Iconic retailer Macy’s plans to launch Black Friday shopping at 6 o’clock Thanksgiving evening, down from 8 p.m. last year, and from midnight in 2011. Other leading retailers are following suit and even one-upping in the case of JCPenney’s 5 p.m. opening. Against this backdrop, LoyaltyOne, a global provider of loyalty marketing services and customer analytics, obtained opinions on extended Thanksgiving Day shopping hours from 1001 U.S. consumers in a nationwide survey taken in October 2014. The consumer views provide a window into the likelihood that all day holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Day will become a reality.

"Savvy retailers put the customer at the center of all their decisions," said Fred Thompson, LoyaltyOne retail practice leader. "Although opening on Thanksgiving Day may lead to incremental sales that day, retailers could risk upsetting their most loyal customers who routinely shop their stores year-round. Retailers should identify who their best customers are and respond with Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales strategies accordingly."

Some other key findings from the research based on various consumer segments include:

  • 37% of men say being open all day on Thanksgiving is a great idea, compared with 29% of women
  • 16% of consumers age 55 and older say that open all day on Thanksgiving is a great idea
  • 40% of consumers in the South say all-day store hours on Thanksgiving is a great idea, compared with 32% in the West, 29% in the Midwest and 26% in the Northeast.

LoyaltyOne’s nationwide survey of 1001 U.S. consumers on extended Thanksgiving Day shopping hours has a margin of error, which measures sampling variability of +/- 2.6 at the 90% confidence level.