NASHVILLE, Tenn.—While the War on Christmas generates more headlines, Thanksgiving has been taking a beating, but some customers and stores are fighting back.
In contrast to many major retailers who have decided to open on Thanksgiving Day, others, like Lifeway Christian Stores, are maintaining their commitment to give employees—and customers—the day off.
“Just as we do every Sunday, we believe it is important to set aside Thanksgiving for our employees to spend time with family and friends thanking God,” said Tim Vineyard, the vice president of Lifeway Christian Resources Stores.
Apparently at least half of Americans agree. A nationwide survey of U.S. consumers found 50 percent say shopping hours on Thanksgiving Day are a bad idea that detracts from the traditional celebration. The research from LoyaltyOne, a customer analytics firm, found only 33 percent believe open stores are beneficial.
A growing number of those Americans opposed to shopping starting on Thursday are making their feelings known. An online petition started by a Target employee asking the fourth largest U.S. retailer to give employees the day off has garnered over 90,000 signatures. Over 100,000 people have liked the Facebook group “Boycott Black Thursday.
Vineyard believes Lifeway customers will appreciate the stance to remain closed and could give them another reason to spend time with loved ones. “We hope our being closed will encourage families to enjoy Thanksgiving together and find respite from the busyness of the holiday season,” he said.
Instead of opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day, Lifeway Christian Stores’ 186 locations will have three sales surrounding the holiday, including a traditional Black Friday sale on November 28 beginning at 6 a.m. and continuing Saturday, November 29, with stores opening at 9 a.m.
That seems to work just fine for most shoppers. Despite the push to start the sales earlier and open on Thanksgiving, most do the bulk of their purchases later. Deloitte University’s annual holiday survey found 65 percent of consumers plan to do the bulk of their shopping after Thanksgiving.
For more information of Lifeway Christian Stores holiday hours and sales, visit LifeWay.com.
Aaron Earls is a writer for Lifeway Christian Resources.