This year, however, even the seasoned Kmart workers have started to grumble over the holiday shopping hours, French said as the store prepares to operate for a continuous 17 hours after opening at 6 a.m. on Thursday.
French said the store’s special discounted items always draw large crowds on Thanksgiving, but he does not know how busy the store will be at 2 a.m.
“Our big thing here is layaway,” he said. “People understand there are limited quantities, but they can put the door busters on layaway and then hit the other stores.”
Debbie Merchant, an associate manager for Big Lots, 2140 S. Scatterfield Road, said her store has always been open on Thanksgiving and she has worked there 11 years.
“We have always been open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.,” she said. “We open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday, which is always busier.”
But some businesses refuse to open on Thanksgiving.
“We want our employees to enjoy their time with friends and family,” said Keith Clevenger, general manager of Menards, 2245 E. 67th St.
Clevenger said he doesn’t see Menards changing its holiday hours any time soon.
“I just don’t see that happening at this point,” he said. “They strongly believe in having a family atmosphere and that it is important to spend time with family during the holidays.”
He said the store will open on Black Friday at 6 a.m. for big sale items and promotions in every department, but not a day earlier.
Ashley Jones, a manager at Maurices, 2109 S. Scatterfield Road, located in the Mounds Mall, said her store will also not be open on Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving, known for its traditional feasts and football games, is an important holiday for sales associates, said Jones. And she wants them to spend the holiday with family and loved ones, but she cannot guarantee they will always have that luxury.