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Hhgregg Joins Businesses Closing for Thanksgiving


Consumer electronics company Hhgregg has joined the growing list of businesses in the U.S. that have announced they will close their doors to customers on Thanksgiving Day.

The electronics chain, which had opened for business on Thanksgiving Day in recent past years, said on Tuesday that it was important for its workers to spend time with their family members during the turkey feast. To this end, it will have its over 200 brick-and-mortar stores in the country closed for the day, but deals will continue to be available to its customers via its website.

“We stand behind our core values and beliefs of being a family-first company,” CEO Bob Riesbeck said in a release. “It’s important to us that our associates are able to be home with their families on Thanksgiving, and we are encouraging our customers to do the same – knowing great deals will be available online, on Black Friday, and through the weekend.”

For the past two years, Hhgregg opened its doors to customers at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, until midnight. It had opened for round-the-clock shopping in the two years before then.

Riesbeck told the Associated Press that Black Friday sales have been spreading out earlier and earlier into the week in recent years, noting that things have become “consistently tougher” on employees.

The consumer electronics chain felt it was time for leaders in the electronics industry to “take charge” and push for a change that would enable employees spend more quality time with their friends and families on Thanksgiving, according to SVP of Marketing Chris Sutton.

Staples Inc announced in September that it would not open for the second straight Thanksgiving, although, like Hhgregg, it will make deals available to customers on its website.

The Bloomington, Minnesota-based Mall of America also revealed last week that it would close on Thanksgiving this year. This decision will benefit its 1,200 employees and several thousand others working with its tenants. But the mall stated that essential personnel, including security, may remain on duty as some of its tenants may decide to open on that day.

Major U.S. retailers, such as Target, Macy’s and Kohl’s, have been opening earlier on Thanksgiving in recent years, with each seeking to outdo its rivals. This move has also been partly driven by rising competition from ecommerce businesses. Many workers have, unsurprisingly, not been pleased with the decision of these traditional retailers, complaining that profit motives of these businesses are being placed above time workers get to spend with their family during the holiday.

Stores are finding it increasing hard to retain employees as a result of this. Some are now resorting to the use of perks and promise of increased pay on Thanksgiving to lure workers.

Riesbeck said Hhgregg would not do badly during the Thanksgiving week if it did not open on the holiday. He told the AP that the consumer electronics retailer can actually do “exceedingly well,” based on observation from time spent in local markets and speaking with store managers. According to him, sales on Thanksgiving have declined over the past two years.

Founded in 1955, Hhgregg operates 220 stores across 19 states in the U.S. The Indianapolis-based chain deals in home appliances and consumer electronics among other offerings from top brands.