BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The nation's largest shopping mall, the Mall of American, announced Wednesday it will be closed for Thanksgiving.
Mall of America said some of its tenants may choose to be open on Thanksgiving, so it will have security and other key personnel on duty to ensure smooth operations.
But is the decision from the heart or strictly business?
"There's a lot of cold business reasons for why we see decisions like this," said University of Minnesota Marketing Professor George John. He believes the mall's move is far less about employee satisfaction than it is about the bottom line.
Shouldn't companies actually take stock in maybe giving their employees a holiday off?
"You would think so, but let's be realistic about the retail employment picture. If you go into a job and you're expected to go 9 to 5 every single day for five days, sure you'd love to get Thanksgiving off," John said. "But the reality of retail is much of the stuff over the holidays is manned by the ebb and flow of the contingent staff who are called up and asked, 'are you willing to work?'"
Last year, MOA encouraged its stores to open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving...but only about a quarter of those stores actually did so.
A spokesperson for the Mall said the decision to close this year had nothing to do with last year's store inconsistency on the holiday -- this -- he maintained was what mall workers deserve.
"I think there's a general trend where they've actually looked at the numbers and realized 'Look what's going on is we are just moving sales around. We aren't actually getting that much additional sales,'" John said. "But they are all afraid to do it unilaterally, because if they do it and somebody else stays open, they lose their shirt."
"My guess is you will see big folks like the Mall of America saying we aren't going to do it. Hint hint, perhaps you shouldn't do it either," John added.
Here's one trend that isn't going anywhere -- Black Friday.
This year, the Mall of America will have Santa and his elves opening the doors at 5 a.m. exactly one month before Christmas.