When the Mall of America made the surprising announcement last month that it would stay closed on Thanksgiving for the first time in years, some skeptics wondered how big of a change it would really be since the megamall was still giving individual stores the option to open that day.
That loophole has now been shut down.
Only Macy?s and Sears ? which has pledged to open stores nationwide at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day and have their own exterior entrances ? and Crayola Experience, which will only be accessible through a third floor entrance from the parking ramp closest to the store, will be open.
Best Buy, which is opening most of its stores at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, will not be opening at Mall of America.
The nation?s biggest mall has notified its 520 store tenants that because of the positive response to the mall?s decision this year, it will be locking the doors at about noon on Thanksgiving ? after the annual Walk to End Hunger the mall has hosted for years concludes that morning ? and will not unlock them until 5 a.m. on the actual Black Friday.
?The reaction from our retailers has been overwhelmingly positive and wholeheartedly supported,? mall spokesman Dan Jasper said in an email. ?We are so pleased that our tenants have embraced this opportunity to give their employees the day to enjoy Thanksgiving with their families and friends.?
Mall operator CBL & Associates, which took a cue from Mall of America in deciding to close most of its malls around the country on Thanksgiving, has also given its anchor stores with their own entrances the option to open that day.
While the Mall of America helped spark a small shift away from Black Friday creep, many retailers are sticking with their Thanksgiving Day opening plans. The two biggest mall operators in the U.S. ? General Growth Properties and Simon Property Group ? are still opening on the holiday. And many big-box stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, J.C. Penney and Kohl?s will be doing the same.
At the Mall of America, its decision to close on the holiday means that the Sea Life Aquarium, its movie theaters and Nickelodeon Universe, which have all typically been open on the holiday, will also be closed that day.
The mall will still have some employees on hand to cover security and maintenance as it does every day of the year, but Jasper noted that it will be a ?limited number? of workers.