Store president: Opening on Thanksgiving Day 'pushing it too far'

Share your thoughts: Should stores open on Thanksgiving Day? Will you shop on the holiday?
TNS Regional News
Nov 23, 2013


Just a few years ago, a department store had no reason to announce that it would be closed for Thanksgiving.

What used to be a given is now a reason to alert the media.

Kmart, Target, Walmart, Target, Toys R Us and Best Buy are among the national retailers planning to open Thanksgiving day or night.

Jim von Maur, president of Von Maur, an upscale department store with a location at The Greene in Beavercreek, told me the trend intended to capitalize on Black Friday shoppers’ lust for bargains is dangerous. Twenty-four hours a day shopping and consuming, 365 days a year shouldn’t be the goal, he said.

“It is important that we keep a balance in life,” he said.”Opening at midnight on Black Friday (is one thing). To be open the evening of Thanksgiving I’m thinking is pushing it too far.”

Founded 140 years ago, Von Maur operates 29 stores and employees 5,500 people in 13 states. Its stores are scheduled to open at 9 a.m., an hour earlier than normal, on Black Friday.

Von Maur has never and will never open on Thanksgiving Day, von Maur said.

“We value the importance of our associates getting the holidays off, whether they spend quality time with their families or do something else,” he said. “It is meant to be a time when everyone stops and give thanks.”

Von Maur doubted that the stores will be operated solely by volunteers, as some chains have claimed would happen.

He said shoppers can decide to stay home on Thanksgiving.

“It not a choice for the associates that have to work in these stores,” von Maur said. “It is too bad that they are forced to do that.”

Other department-store retailers, however, have done an about-face on the whole Thanksgiving hours debate.

Last November, just before Thanksgiving, Ron Johnson, who was then the CEO of J.C. Penney, sent a “personal” email to customers loudly and proudly proclaiming that the retailer would not – absolutely not – open on Thanksgiving Day, despite the fact that many of his competitors were.

“Spending Thanksgiving with family is one of America’s greatest traditions,” Johnson wrote. “Since JCP was founded on the Golden Rule, I’m proud to honor this tradition by keeping our stores closed on this special day. I hope our customers and employees all enjoy a wonderful holiday with loved ones.”

Throngs shopped at Penney’s competitors on Thanksgiving evening. A few months later, Johnson was sacked as CEO. And this year, J.C. Penney loudly and proudly announced it will open the majority of its 1,100 stores at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Von Maur was emphatic his company would not open on Thanksgiving Day.

The Fourth of July, Labor Day and New Year’s Day are also off the table, he said.

Opening on Thanksgiving dilutes the holiday, von Maur said.

“We should really think hard about if we want to go down that road,” he said.


By Amelia Robinson - Dayton Daily News, Ohio - (MCT) Reporter Mark Fisher contributed to this post.

©2013 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

Visit the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) at

Distributed by MCT Information Services



I agree 100% with not opening the store on Thanksgiving. There's plenty of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas to get the shopping done. Leave the Holiday alone and let your employees be with their families.


What jackwagon said


What Jackwagon and kURTje said x 1000....


Many retailers make 25% of their sales during the Christmas season.
Maximizing profit comes with the territory.

Don't like the work that comes with the job? Quit.

Maybe the Dems will take pity on ya and give you welfare?

And "Yes," I've worked a Thanksgiving or two.

Sitting In The ...

We're talking about working on Thanksgiving but why let things like facts get in the way of you spewing your ignorance everywhere. PS Republicans are on welfare too or do they not mention that on Fox News?


Re: "We're talking about working on Thanksgiving,"

Again: Don't like the work that comes with the job? Quit.


"Winnie Scrooge" Tool bag.


Re: "Scrooge"

So if your boss required that you come into work on Thanksgiving because it was important for the financial health of the co. you'd whine about it?

Actually, we're celebrating Thanksgiving today (Sunday) because it works out best for all members of the family.


I am working every holiday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas day, New years eve, New Yeasrs day. I work in public service, its a 24/7 job. McDonalds and other stores are not vital that they be opened
on major holidays. Yes, McDonalds is open Thanksgiving and Christmas. Crazy.


Re: "McDonalds and other stores are not vital that they be opened,"

Only a fascist droid would tell a private co. when they should and should not be open.

Maybe 24/7 public ees. wanna stop for a bite to eat?

Think, think, think.

thinkagain's picture

I snapped a pic of you hard at work last Thanksgiving. Thank you for your public service!


Too funny!!!!!!!!!!


There are two clear sides/opinions on this issue. All you can do is support the side you lean towards. If you feel stores should stay closed on Thanksgiving, don't go shopping there on Thanksgiving. If your opinion is popular, then stores won't stay open on Thanksgiving very long. I happen to share that opinion. Not only will I not shop on Thanksgiving Day, I will try to shop more on Friday at the stores that were not open Thanksgiving. Pass along!

Dr. Information

If your business is struggling retail wise, which many are, why not open up on Thanksgiving? If people want to shop they will, if they don't they won't.

I don't hear anyone griping in behalf of the millions of medical workers who do not get holidays off. They have to get up and go in and switch days around to celebrate. Comes with the paycheck and job. Don't like it, then quit. Maybe the government can take care of you.

Kottage Kat

Lost track of the holidays I worked in 44 years as a nurse. I always worked night shift Christmas Eve so the folks with kids could be home in the morning. Never minded a bit, it went with the job and I knew that going in.
Holidays are just another day to me, with no children and no family. I am very happy and content.


My husband just retired from the military, we had NO holidays off. Some holidays he was just at work, some 12 hour shifts. A few were out of the country with no contact. Now he is a police officer here in our hometown. Again....we do not get holidays off, unless it happens to fall on his day off in the rotation. Some get holidays off some do not. I choose not to shop on Black Friday or (Thursday) because I do not like crowds and all the craziness/rudeness. I think the whole shopping/sale/first to open/best deal thing is getting out of control. I will stay at home and stick to Cyber Monday, in my pajamas with a cup of coffee.


That will help out your community. I was on your side up until the cyber Monday part of your comment. People need to stop being so lazy and anti-social and go support brick and mortar


The reason most places close on Thanksgiving and Christmas is to allow their employees to spend time with their families. Nothing wrong with that. Certain professions don't give you that option. It is handled in-house which employees get off. It really is pretty simple. You know what to expect based on the job you have.

Kottage Kat

Those in retail should be home with families. It is not a necessary service.

Dr. Information

It is when sales are down and people are being laid off and they are seeing this a way to increase revenue and sell all the stuff they have in storage.


Pushing too far should include: Christmas movies, and songs on radio BEFORE Halloween. I don't want to see or hear it before December 1 st.

Black Friday commercials BEFORE Halloween.

Christmas Decorations out and Hung Before Thanksgiving.

It's getting earlier every year.

Despite the bad economy.

It's all about greed, greed, greed.


I agree. Stores were putting Christmas decorations out for sale back in August. Ridiculous!

Cliff Cannon

" Store president: Opening on Thanksgiving Day 'pushing it too far' "



@ CC:

Just think, billions of Asians, Europeans and residents of other Western Hemisphere countries are currently working or have worked on Thankgsgiving (Nov. 28).

What's the big deal?

Actually, internet shopping is really cuttin' into brick and mortar's bottom line.

Retailers are gettin' nervous.

Looks like Schumpeter's "creative destruction" in play.

Soon there'll be the complaints of job loss.


Off-topic, but interesting IMO:


Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated in the UNITED STATES. It became an official US Federal holiday in 1863. I am confident that the "billions of Asians, Europeans and residents of other Western Hemisphere countries" are not forced to work on THEIR federal holidays.

Cliff Cannon

@Contango: " Thanksgiving " is my favorite holiday. So it seems only right to me, that we should stop at least once in the year. To say 'thanks 'for the privilege of being an American.

( Read " American " to say you are one of the richest persons in the world. Which of course, anyone living here in America is. So that's my beef with shopping. )

Of course,your right on about "Retailers are gettin' nervous " and well they should. Because not only is retail way over built, how does one compete with the internet or Wal-Mart ?.

So,from what I read we are going to be waving bye-bye to lot of venerable names in the near future. Which ,will of course lead to "Soon there'll be the complaints of job loss." you mention. Which, of course will lead to....

Couldn't read the Teddy Roosevelt article as I am not a member of the WSJ. Thanks though. May I assume you've already got your cheesehead on as the Packers play at 1 ? :)

Happy Thanksgiving my friend

Cliff Cannon

@ Contango : I remembered T.R. being shot in Milwaukee, then still giving his speech. Still, I was surprised to see T.R. was stalked like an animal by his would be assassin. Considering, how many assassins stalk their victims, ( John Lennon comes immediately to mind ) that should not be a surprise,should it ?

Same topic,different venue. Have you ever been to Cleveland's " Lakeview" cemetery ? If not, make the trip. It is amazingly beautiful and filled with Cleveland's elite.

President Garfield ( who the doctors should get credit for killing, not his assassin ) is there and has one of the most sumptuous tombs, built since antiquity.

Obviously, Garfield apart from being known for being ambidextrous, speaking Latin when he was about 2 or something ridiculous like that. Made no lasting impression on our country to speak of.

Still, he has this magnificent tomb. While, very short distances from him. People, who made far greater, lasting impacts on America, like John D. Rockefeller for example. Lie under, extremely nice monuments, yet not any where close to the magnitude of Garfield's.

Moral of story ? Not sure there is one. Other than, it doesn't matter what you accomplish in high office as long as you have the taxpayers pay for your tomb.


Cliff we both remember this (Ohio)area on Sundays. People took a day off after working hard all week. Hardly any Mom&Pop places open too. Those were the customs. Enjoy your family, we have much to be thankful for.

Cliff Cannon

@kURTje : Trust your Thanksgiving was as warm, memorable and family filled as ours. Sure is, hard to find a better holiday than Thanksgiving, ain't it ?