Black Friday and Thanksgiving shopping mania has been a topic of much debate this holiday season. 

While stores have been opening up earlier for bargain shoppers – often on Thanksgiving Day – within the last few years, many companies are aiding in a possible shift to this trend. Stores such as outdoor retailer REI have announced they will remain closed on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, providing a paid day off for employees. REI cites its decision as part of an overall attempt to get people to “go outside” instead of spending time in line. 

As for Thanksgiving Day itself, stores such as Costco, GameStop, Von Maur, Staples, Apple, TJ Maxx, Pier 1 Imports, Barnes & Noble, and Harbor Freight have all committed to closing shop. None of these employees will be required to arrive at their designated location until Black Friday or later. 

National media outlets have taken notice of the trend to remain closed on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. Reports note that it is not only to do with the ethical debate of whether to let employees stay home with their loved ones, but also the economic bottom line and the store hours’ effects on dollars. 

Within the last few years, online shopping, as well as sales that begin around Labor Day, have shifted the view of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers. “Christmas creep,” in which holiday sales and shopping are encouraged earlier and earlier each year, is also a factor. 

As a result, many stores are at least putting more of a focus on Black Friday deals instead of stretching their efforts across Thanksgiving.