JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The retail war over Black Friday and Thanksgiving is taking a turn. While store sales and deals continue to bleed into the traditionally family-only holiday, some are bucking the trend.
"The Mall of America kind of sets the trend for the retail industry. They did a closing on Thanksgiving Day, and it kind of shocked the mall world," Esplanade Mall Marketing Manager Ellie Thomas said.
The malls in our area will open for Thanksgiving like they have in recent years, but they are giving vendors the option of whether or not they would like to take the day off.
"Whoever is open, they'll just lift up their gates," Thomas said. "But the mall will be open."
"We try to keep our customers happy," Lakeside Shopping Center Marketing Coordinator Claire Massey said. "We keep our doors open for the stores that want to open."
To some store owners, that option of closing is a gift in itself.
"They should leave it as a traditional holiday so families can be together. Not make people work that day so they can spend the holiday with their family," So Chic owner Isa Roquel said.
But the trend is not just about family time, it is also about economics. The retail giant CBL and Associates is closing 72 of its malls across the country this Thanksgiving after reviewing years of sales data.
"We didn't make this decision in a vacuum. We analyzed the sales data over the last couple of years when we had been open on Thanksgiving, and we found that our retailers weren't really seeing any incremental sales increases," CBL Public Relations Director Stacey Keating said. "That traffic and sales volume were really just spread out to two days as oppose to it just being allocated to Black Friday."
CBL owns the Fremaux Town Center in Slidell. The town center will remain open since it is an outdoor shopping complex, and vendors are given the option of whether to open.
Retailers opening on Thanksgiving bank on people's love of shopping, and many in the industry do not foresee going back to the days where everyone closed for the holiday.
"It really depends on the stores and what they see in the sales," Massey said. "If they see sales on Thursday, they're going to still open."