Add Burnsville Center to the small but growing list of shopping malls that are deciding to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day this year.
The mall's owner, Tennessee-based CBL & Associates Properties, will close more than 70 of its malls around the U.S. on the holiday this year. Department stores, movie theaters, and stores with exterior mall entrances will still have the option to open their stores that day. However the mall's common areas will be closed until when the mall officially opens at 6 a.m. the next day, the actual Black Friday.
"We want to bring back the excitement of Black Friday shopping as the true start of the holiday shopping season and allow our employees, retailers, and shoppers to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with their families," CBL CEO Stephen Lebovitz said in a statement. "After evaluating feedback from our mall employees, retail partners, and input from our shoppers we determined that this was the best decision for our properties."
The move is another sign that the earlier Black Friday openings haven't been paying off for retailers. In the last several years, many big-box stores and other mall-based stores have been inching back their Black Friday openings into Thanksgiving evening. But many experts have noted that the earlier openings haven't led to more overall sales, but have instead spread it out over several days.
In addition, the Thanksgiving Day openings present extra challenges of staffing the stores on those days and extra costs for retailers in terms of having to pay overtime.
Last week, Mall of America in Bloomington made national headlines when it announced it would stay closed for Thanksgiving this year, including its amusement park and movie theaters, and would encourage stores to do the same. But individual stores can still choose to open that day.
Its announcement seems to have had a domino effect. Hhgregg, an electronics retailer, also has since said it would close on the holiday this year, too.
Last year, Burnsville Center was one of a few local shopping malls that opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, but then closed at midnight unlike previous years when they stayed open all night. Mall officials last year noted that traffic was pretty light after midnight. All CBL malls did the same.