Add Cabela’s to the list of stores that will now be open on Thanksgiving.
It joins a number of retailers that are throwing their doors open on Thanksgiving — some that have been doing so for a long time, and some that have pushed opening hours earlier and earlier to let shoppers squeeze in more time to grab deals.
In the past, Cabela’s had said in statements that it was a “longstanding tradition” to keep stores closed on Thanksgiving so employees could spend time with their families.
“Dick and Jim Cabela made that decision when they started the company 53 years ago, and it remains unchanged today,” former Chief Executive Tommy Millner had said in years past.
But new owner Bass Pro Shops, which finalized its purchase of the homegrown Nebraska business in September, has a longstanding tradition of being open on the holiday. A Cabela’s employee said the store in La Vista will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. It will re-open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday. A spokesman for Bass Pro did not respond to questions on the decision. (Bass Pro in Council Bluffs also will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving; it opens at 5 a.m. on Friday.)
Cabela’s is just one of many retailers weighing the question: to open on Thanksgiving or not? This year, it’s a mixed bag, with some retailers pulling back their hours and others opening even earlier than they did last year.
Nebraska Furniture Mart is closed on Thanksgiving, as in years past. On Black Friday — one of retailers’ biggest shopping days of the year — it will open at 8 a.m., a little later than in past years, when it’s opened at 6 a.m. A spokeswoman said the change was to allow employees to have a little more time with their families.
At Target, there’s also a change to the two-day shopping extravaganza: It will open at 6 p.m. Thursday, as it did last year, but it will close at midnight and then re-open at 6 a.m. Friday. That’s different from years past when the chain store stayed open all night. Walmart will open at 6 p.m. on Thursday, but holiday deals will kick off online 18 hours earlier, at one minute past midnight.
Westroads and Oak View Malls will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and close at midnight, when traffic diminishes. That’s the same schedule the malls followed last year. Westroads Senior General Manager Jim Sadler said roughly 60 percent of stores will open on Thanksgiving, and all stores in the mall will be open at 6 a.m. Friday, closing at 9 p.m. Oak View’s hours will be the same, said general manager Amber Bakken.
“Our hot ones are usually Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, Younkers and J.C. Penney,” Bakken said.
Anchor stores like Younkers and J.C. Penney will have their own separate hours. Younkers began offering deals online as early as Monday. The department store chain will open at 11 a.m. Thursday, hours earlier than its 5 p.m. opening last year. J.C. Penney will open at 2 p.m. this year, an hour earlier than it did last year.
J.C. Penney also this year will expand its offerings to include electronics, like televisions and PlayStations; furniture; and mattresses, said Michael Lenz, store manager at the Westroads J.C. Penney.
Ken Perkins, president of Boston research firm RetailMetrics, said some department stores are “really struggling and in tough shape” when it comes to recent sales figures.
“I think they’re looking to just try to garner any share they possibly can by being open a bit earlier than everyone else,” he said of some stores moving their opening times earlier.
A survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers of about 1,000 adults in the U.S. found that 84 percent of shoppers expect to head to stores over the Thanksgiving weekend, spending an average of $470.20.
While many will head out after Thanksgiving dinner or early Friday morning, leaving the house won’t be necessary to snag some deals.
Some bricks-and-mortar doorbusters will be available online, too. Amazon said it will offer a variety of deals throughout what it calls the “Turkey 5” — the five days that span Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. The retailer will offer new deals each day, it said.
Online retail sales are expected to reach $107.4 billion this year, nearly a 14 percent jump over last year, according to the research firm Adobe Analytics.
And if you’d like to avoid shopping altogether this weekend, have no fear: Good deals are going to be a constant through the holiday season, Perkins said.
“Consumers sort of have the sense that things are highly competitive. They’re pretty much gonna be able to get the deal they want at any point through the holiday season,” Perkins said.