Yesterday was a cool day at work. After rumors of the possibility, my coworkers and I at Mall of America were notified that the nation’s largest mall will be closed on Thanksgiving. The Minneapolis Star Tribune told the story this way:
In the past few years, the Mall of America was among the growing crop of retailers and malls that swung open their doors on Thanksgiving night to stretch Black Friday amid a fierce battle for consumers’ holiday spending.
But no more.
The Bloomington megamall notified employees and tenants Wednesday morning that it is reversing course this year and will close down as many of its operations as possible on the holiday. Nickelodeon Universe and the movie theaters will be closed for Thanksgiving for the first time in its 24-year history.
I was ecstatic to hear the news. I worked on Thanksgiving and through Black Friday last year. While it was an experience to work all night at Mall of America on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, I’d prefer to spend that time with friends and family.
The national enthusiasm for the announcement matched the excitement around the office. Newspapers and news stations around the country picked up the story, and thousands of people took to social media to thank Mall of America for leading the way in reclaiming Thanksgiving for family time. We even made the front page of Reddit, from the subreddit /UpliftingNews.
The decision makes great sense from both a moral and a business perspective. We still expect nearly half a million people to visit MOA during the Black Friday weekend (and now with some newfound enthusiasm for the brand), but the people assisting those customers will get to do so after spending Thanksgiving celebrating with the people they love.
I think we all felt the annoyance at seeing Black Friday creep into Thanksgiving. Closing on Thanksgiving means Mall of America employees and guests can enjoy both days on their own. Hopefully MOA will be the first of many to make this decision.