A sign that malls are throwing in the towel to e-commerce? Or a push against holiday shopping hysteria intruding upon family time? Either way you interpret it, the Mall of America will be closed this Thanksgiving.
In a move that rejects the recent trend of retailers staying open during the holiday, America’s largest shopping mall announced Thursday it would be shuttering its doors Thanksgiving day, including its indoor amusement park and movie theaters.
While the Mall of America’s roughly 520 stores will have the option to stay open through the holiday, the mall said it expects very few to do so, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“We think Thanksgiving is a day for families and for people we care about,” Jill Renslow, the mall’s senior vice president of marketing, told the Associated Press. “We want to give this day back.”
According to the Star Tribute, the mall typically sees about 400,000 shoppers over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Mall of America started opening at midnight on Black Friday in 2012, before pushing openings earlier to 6 pm in 2014 and 2015. This year, shoppers will have to wait to start shopping until the morning of Black Friday.
Most of the mall’s 1,200 employees will have the day off, although some maintenance and security staff will still have to punch in for the day. The mall will also still be hosting its annual Walk to End Hunger on site the morning of Thanksgiving.