As a growing number of retailers are opening their doors on Thanksgiving, a handful are bucking the commercial trend and staying closed, respecting employees and their families and attracting positive word of mouth in the process.
Nordstrom, Costco, Ross Stores, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Burlington Coat Factory stores, Sam's Club, and BJ's Wholesale are choosing not to encroach on America's family centered holiday by remaining closed on Thursday.
The trend to open stores on Thanksgiving started a few years ago with the originators creating a lot of PR buzz. Now, with a negative backlash around this trend, staying closed can be a PR coup, not to mention an employee retention strategy. Retailers that stay closed could likely find that there's a direct link between respecting employees and creating long-lasting relationships with customers.
Customer experience has become the apex of success for at least two of these companies--Costco and Nordstrom, consistently topping customer experience rankings like Forrester's Customer Experience Index, Temkin Customer Service Ratings, and the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Often hailed as the benchmark leaders for customer service and employee engagement, it's no surprise they won't be open on Thanksgiving.
Costco, in particular, cited its reason for remaining closed, which is that employees deserve to spend Thanksgiving with their families. The warehouse retailer has found that employee retention is a successful business strategy. Known for its generous salaries and benefits packages, Costco has succeeded in getting its employees to feel connected to the brand. As a result, the company reports fewer layoffs and higher employee retention, which ultimately translate to better customer service and higher customer satisfaction than the industry average.
Staying closed on Thanksgiving and letting employees spend time celebrating the holiday with their families is not only a sound employee and customer retention strategy; it also demonstrates corporate conscience. Delivering optimal customer experiences starts with employees. If retailers take care of their employees, employees will take care of their customers.
Do you know any other retailers staying closed for Thanksgiving?