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Madison Marketing Professor Examines Retailer's Decision to Close on Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021 -- 9:01 AM

(Raymond Neupert, WRN) Major retailer Target is planning to keep its doors closed on Thanksgiving this year, continuing last year's closure due to COVID.

Madison College marketing professor Steve Noll says that the matter is good PR, but probably a sound business decision. "You have to have labor, you have to have all these costs involved with actually opening the store, and then, of course, you have to deal with the negative publicity that comes with you forcing people to work on a holiday."

Noll says Target and other large stores can afford to not be open that extra day, thanks to improvements in online shopping. "You know, the people that are shopping, they're moving those sales from the physical location to the virtual shopping market."

Noll says it's a sound business practice, and not just for the feel-good reasons. "A: it can be closed on Thanksgiving and save the labor costs and then B: they're getting a positive PR pump from people saying 'oh look they're not forcing people to work on the holiday.'"

Noll says Target has easily been able to make up the difference thanks to improvements and their online shopping system, and that the general model of Black Friday as a whole is slowly starting to fall out of favor.

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