| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Oct 14 Macy's Inc said on Monday
that most of its stores will open on the U.S. Thanksgiving Day
holiday for the first time in its history, in a sign of how
competitive the holiday season is shaping up.
Macy's will open the doors at most of its 800 namesake
department stores, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28. The company
said the shift was voluntary for workers and that the move was
"consistent" with what many rivals are doing.
The name of company, which has sponsored New York's Macy's
Thanksgiving Day parade since 1924, is virtually synonymous with
Traditionally, retailers have waited until Black Friday, the
day after the Thanksgiving, to start their big end-of-the-year
push for sales.
U.S. retailers have extended their Black Friday hours every
year in recent years to get a jump on the sales events that kick
off the holiday season, when they earn more than a third of
their annual sales in the holiday season.
Many retailers, including Macy's, reported disappointing
second-quarter sales, pressuring them to try to make up those
sales during the holiday season.
Macy's opened most of its stores at midnight in 2011 and
2012 to kick off the Black Friday sales after opening later in
the morning in prior years. But some of its rivals have opened
earlier and earlier, pressuring Macy's.
Last year, Macy's rival Lord & Taylor, owned by Hudson's Bay
Co, opened some stores for business on Thanksgiving for
the first time. Sears Holdings Corp's namesake chain
was also open.
In 2012, Target Corp opened at 9 p.m. on
Thanksgiving, three hours earlier than a year earlier, when it
was closed on Thanksgiving.
Macy's said in a statement that the earlier opening was to
cater to shoppers who prefer to start shopping earlier.
One associate in the men's sportswear section at the Macy's
flagship in Manhattan said he volunteered to work on
"I'm going to gladly work that shift because I don't want to
work on Black Friday," he said.
But another associate said Thanksgiving with her family was
too "sacred" for her to go to work.
Last year, several petitions were created on website
Change.org suggesting that chains keep their doors shut on
Thanksgiving, which is a major national, non-denominational
holiday in the United States. Change.org is a website that
allows people to create and sign petitions.
Rowland H. Macy opened R.H. Macy & Co as a dry goods store
in New York City in 1858.