Which camp are you in? Shopping on Thanksgiving or not

  • Holiday decorations are set and shoppers are ready for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday specials at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora, but some stores and malls are closing for Thanksgiving.

      Holiday decorations are set and shoppers are ready for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday specials at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora, but some stores and malls are closing for Thanksgiving. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Shoppers are ready for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday specials at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora, but a growing number of consumers are spending Thanksgiving Day around the dinner table instead of at a shopping center.

      Shoppers are ready for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday specials at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora, but a growing number of consumers are spending Thanksgiving Day around the dinner table instead of at a shopping center. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Holiday decorations are set at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora. The trend of malls staying open on Thanksgiving began about five years ago to capture sales from eager Black Friday shoppers.

      Holiday decorations are set at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora. The trend of malls staying open on Thanksgiving began about five years ago to capture sales from eager Black Friday shoppers. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Aurora's Chicago Premium Outlets is decorated for the holiday season. The increasing trend of malls and stores staying open during the upcoming holiday has blurred the line between Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

      Aurora's Chicago Premium Outlets is decorated for the holiday season. The increasing trend of malls and stores staying open during the upcoming holiday has blurred the line between Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Holiday decorations are set and shoppers are ready for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday specials at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora. The Mall of America in Minnesota, the United States' largest shopping center, decided to stay closed on Thanksgiving this year. Fox Valley Mall in Aurora followed suit and won't open Thursday.

      Holiday decorations are set and shoppers are ready for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday specials at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora. The Mall of America in Minnesota, the United States' largest shopping center, decided to stay closed on Thanksgiving this year. Fox Valley Mall in Aurora followed suit and won't open Thursday. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Holiday decorations are set at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora. Part of the trend for malls and stores to stay closed Thanksgiving Day is a movement called conscious capitalism, said Anne Brower, senior partner at McMillan Doolittle.

      Holiday decorations are set at the Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora. Part of the trend for malls and stores to stay closed Thanksgiving Day is a movement called conscious capitalism, said Anne Brower, senior partner at McMillan Doolittle. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Abt will close Thanksgiving and open Black Friday and won't tease customers with doorbusters that run out quickly. "There's nothing worse than someone going to a store and they only have three or four of the items and they're sold out and the people are knocking each other over for them," co-President Jon Abt said.

    Abt will close Thanksgiving and open Black Friday and won't tease customers with doorbusters that run out quickly. "There's nothing worse than someone going to a store and they only have three or four of the items and they're sold out and the people are knocking each other over for them," co-President Jon Abt said. COURTESY OF ABT ELECTRONICS

  • Abt will close Thanksgiving and open Black Friday. Some stores are deciding to stay closed on Thanksgiving for financial reasons. "Some other stores found they have to offer huge promotions and incentives and that just slashes profits," said Amy Rotert, Von Maur vice president of stores.

    Abt will close Thanksgiving and open Black Friday. Some stores are deciding to stay closed on Thanksgiving for financial reasons. "Some other stores found they have to offer huge promotions and incentives and that just slashes profits," said Amy Rotert, Von Maur vice president of stores. COURTESY OF ABT ELECTRONICS

  • Abt will close Thanksgiving Day, which pleases some avid shoppers. "I have a black belt in shopping, and I think stores should be closed on Thanksgiving," Connie Hofherr of Des Plaines said. "We have become a society that does not focus on family. There is plenty of time until Christmas to shop."

    Abt will close Thanksgiving Day, which pleases some avid shoppers. "I have a black belt in shopping, and I think stores should be closed on Thanksgiving," Connie Hofherr of Des Plaines said. "We have become a society that does not focus on family. There is plenty of time until Christmas to shop." COURTESY OF ABT ELECTRONICS

  • Abt will close Thanksgiving and open Black Friday and won't tease customers with doorbusters that run out quickly. Giving employees Thanksgiving off will make them better workers, which will lead to higher customer satisfaction and happier shareholders, said Anne Brower, senior partner at McMillan Doolittle.

    Abt will close Thanksgiving and open Black Friday and won't tease customers with doorbusters that run out quickly. Giving employees Thanksgiving off will make them better workers, which will lead to higher customer satisfaction and happier shareholders, said Anne Brower, senior partner at McMillan Doolittle. COURTESY OF ABT ELECTRONICS

 
 
Posted11/22/2016 5:00 AM

Patty O'Brien of Mount Prospect is a die-hard Black Friday bargain hunter.

This 76-year-old has kicked off her holiday shopping sprees by scoring such deals as $300 in free merchandise at a sporting goods store and $75 worth of crystal wineglasses for $9. Her thrill of the hunt will continue the day after Thanksgiving, a day when she intends to have the traditional dinner with her family.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I'll be with my family on Thanksgiving Day," O'Brien said. "And I will study the ads later for Black Friday."

O'Brien is part of a growing group of consumers who are skipping the doorbusters and shopping sprees on Thanksgiving Day to eat turkey and spend time with family.

Many will be shopping, as most of the area's malls, and some big retailers, are launching the holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving Day. The trend of stores opening on Thanksgiving started about five years ago to capture sales from shoppers who usually hit the malls on Black Friday.

However, a shift in this habit took a major turn this season when Minnesota's Mall of America, the nation's largest shopping center, decided to close on Thanksgiving this year, after being open for the past several years. Fox Valley Mall in Aurora followed and will not open Thursday. The local mall said that it aims to "help renew the tradition of families spending Thanksgiving together" and to "rekindle the magic of Black Friday as the official start of the holiday shopping season."

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Many large retailers, including Von Maur, REI, Abt Electronics and American Girl will also be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

The trend to close on Thanksgiving Day is part of an effort called conscious capitalism, said Anne Brower, senior partner at Chicago-based McMillan Doolitte, a retail research firm.

"If you take care of the employees, they take better care of the customers, and that will result in return business and then the shareholders will be happy," Brower said.

But other reasons could underscore the decision to close. The higher sales for the holiday may not cover the extra labor and overhead costs, Brower added.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Von Maur, with stores in Lombard, St. Charles and Glenview, has been closed on Thanksgiving Day for 140 years. They reopen on Black Friday and do not have doorbusters.

"Some other stores found they have to offer huge promotions and incentives and that just slashes profits," said Amy Rotert, Von Maur vice president of stores. "That's not how we operate and it's been a part of our company tradition to let employees off Thanksgiving Day."

Abt will close Thanksgiving and won't tease customers with Black Friday doorbusters that run out quickly.

"There's nothing worse than someone going to a store and they only have three or four of the items and they're sold out and the people are knocking each other over for them," said co-President Jon Abt.

That's good news for avid shoppers like Connie Hofherr of Des Plaines.

"I have a black belt in shopping, and I think stores should be closed on Thanksgiving," Hofherr said. "We have become a society that does not focus on family. There is plenty of time until Christmas to shop."

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