Black Friday sales: Target to close

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The retailer announced that it will remain closed on Thanksgiving

As stores prepare for their annual Black Friday sales, Target says it will remain closed for the benefit of its employees, particularly in the US.

The retail giant said on Tuesday that this year it would stay closed from 1pm-8pm on 26 November, the day that often serves as the “official kick-off” to the Christmas shopping season.

This year, more than half of Target stores will be open on Black Friday.

It will mark the first time the American retailer has ever shut its doors on a national holiday.

“We will be closed on Thanksgiving and remain closed on Black Friday,” vice president of corporate affairs Kristal Howard said.

“We want to give our team time to spend with their families in a more traditional way.”

Employees at the company’s US stores will receive 20% bonus from their company share of net income. They will also receive a generous paid leave policy in line with their US counterparts.

Across the country, 1,800 stores will be open on Black Friday from 11am-8pm, Target said.

However, the retailer is not extending its hours across Canada, where its corporation employs 50,000 workers.

British retailers, including John Lewis, have said that the decision to open their doors does not make financial sense.

“Like many other retailers, John Lewis has decided not to open our stores on the biggest shopping day of the year,” said an executive statement.

“Our research shows that it’s not always worth being open to achieve sales targets – otherwise we risk disappointing our customers who rely on us every day.”

Yorkshire-based clothing retailer Joules also said its stores would be closed during both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Image copyright PA Image caption John Lewis will not open its stores on Black Friday, unlike its US counterparts

Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays also said they would remain closed on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

In 2017, British shoppers spent almost £5bn in supermarkets and leisure centres over the six days running up to Christmas.

To help staff prepare for the holiday shopping season, Target has published a helpful help page on its website.

“Whether you’re looking for gifts for everyone on your list or just shopping for yourself, think of it as the busiest time of the year!,” reads the tip.

“The stores will still be open. But you’ll want to keep an eye on your phone for push notifications about sales.”

Traditionally in the US, stores, hotels and restaurants have opened early on the first Friday after Thanksgiving, a period known as Black Friday.

This year, sales on a week-long period that started on 23 November were expected to reach $29.6bn, according to the National Retail Federation.

About 71% of businesses in the US operate on a Friday-Monday model, according to the United States Department of Labor.

Some retailers, including Amazon, are now beginning their Christmas promotions at midnight on 23 November.

More than 31.3 million people shopped on the Thanksgiving weekend, an 8.3% increase on last year, according to a survey by National Retail Federation.

Black Friday 2014: Shoppers queue at stores for deals and discounts

Image copyright AP Image caption Shoppers flocked to stores in California on Black Friday 2014

Shoppers flocked to stores in California on Black Friday 2014 Image copyright AP Image caption Thousands of stores closed on Thanksgiving 2014 in solidarity with employees

Black Friday 2012: US retailers sold more than $59bn in merchandise between Sunday, 22 November and Friday, 24 November

Black Friday 2011: Sales in the US hit $50.1bn

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Shoppers stormed stores in California during Black Friday in 2012

Black Friday 2010: Shoppers line up at stores before midnight to beat the crowds

Image copyright AP Image caption Shoppers in New York rushed to beat the crowds on the last Friday before Christmas in 2010

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