What would happen if stores opened on Christmas Day?

Discussion
Dec 15, 2015

Through a special arrangement, what follows is a summary of an article from COLLOQUY, provider of loyalty-marketing publishing, education and research since 1990.

Why wait until Dec. 26? Throwing the doors open on Christmas Day for returns and sales appears to be the message to retailers, particularly from Millennials.

When LoyaltyOne Consulting asked 1,267 American consumers nationwide in November what they would do if retailers opened for business at 6 p.m. on Christmas, 18 percent of general population respondents (age 18 to 65 and older) said they would take advantage of the extra time to shop.

Among younger Millennials (age 18-24), 30 percent said they would shop on Christmas. Among older millennials (age 25-34), 27 percent said they would leave hearth and home on Dec. 25 to head for the mall.

Conversely, 24 percent of the general population said they would not shop on Christmas, and would be less likely to shop in the future at a store open on Christmas, or recommend such a store to friends and family.

In line, Uniqlo

Photo: RetailWire

Moreover, 58 percent of the general population said simply that they would never shop on Christmas. The never-shop-on-Christmas score for young Millennials (age 18-24) fell to 53 percent; for older Millennials (age 25-34), it was 52 percent.

While consumers appear divided on the shop-on-Christmas issue, other answers indicated that some may be open to a day during a holiday when there was less hustle and bustle:

  • Ninety-four percent of all shoppers surveyed said they expect retailers to take extra measures to keep checkout lines moving during the holiday rush;
  • Eighty percent of shoppers said they blame the retailer if they have to wait because of another customer’s coupons, returns or customer service problems — except in the Millennial demographic, where four out of ten said they resent the other customer, not the store, for making them wait;
  • Eighty-nine percent of all shoppers said they expect retailers to take extra measures to keep departments orderly, despite the busy season;
  • When asked why they avoided stores completely during the holiday season, 36 percent of shoppers said their primary reason is waiting too long at the checkout.

 

Do you expect to see openings on Christmas in the future? Will consumers eventually opt for the convenience of accomplishing returns and exchanges on Christmas night?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"The conversations on RetailWire tend to center around "what is right for the shopper" — and rightly so. The old saying "nothing happens until somebody sells (buys) something" still applies."
"I do not expect openings on Christmas Day. In fact, I expect fewer and fewer openings on Thanksgiving Day. Religion aside, there just aren’t enough gross margin dollars in it."
"24 hour shopping, 365 days a week. That’s what we need. Isn’t it a constitutional right to shop whenever, however wherever we want?"

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25 Comments on "What would happen if stores opened on Christmas Day?"


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Bob Phibbs
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

If evangelical Christians, who’ve gotten their badge of honor finding a #waronchristmas in everything from cups to discontinued polar bear cookies at Starbucks, got wind of this — any retailer would be skewered in the media and online. I predict this is many years away, if ever.

Tom Redd
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

Due to the slow drop in overall family values that we are seeing across the Gen Z and Millennials I do expect to see some stores to open on Christmas. I also estimate that the stores that do open will make a package available to employees that choose to work much like a major gift. Overtime and vacation. Sad to see that the family is falling in rank among the kids.

Me, I would never shop on Christmas. It is a true day of doing nothing but eat, tape up and re-open gifts and question my kids about what they plan to do with me when I kick.

Merry Christmas from the Redd Compound.

Joan Treistman
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

I think patterns of shopping before, after and during Christmas reflect the changes in celebrating Christmas. Millennials may be less engaged with what is referred to as “tradition” and are therefore in favor of shopping on Christmas Day.

Ralph Jacobson
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

Well, these survey numbers are not overwhelming. Overall 58 percent say they won’t shop on Christmas Day. That’s not a huge majority. And … Talk is cheap. If these deals are out there, they’ll be there! This is inevitable.

Max Goldberg
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

I expect to see it, but I hope not. Online shopping is available every day. Let that suffice. Employees should have time with their families.

Ben Ball
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

The conversations on RetailWire tend to center around “what is right for the shopper” — and rightly so. The old saying “nothing happens until somebody sells (buys) something” still applies.

But this time, I come down in favor of the employees. Is it really impossible for us to resist the temptation to gain some slight possible advantage with a few shoppers who respond to a survey? Are we that far removed from caring about our people and our traditions?

Good grief.

W. Frank Dell II
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

I don’t expect many retailers to be open on Christmas Day. Considering the number of retailers no longer opening on Thanksgiving this idea runs counter. Consumers can shop online on Christmas and any other day now. The biggest problem for retailers to be open Christmas Day is where to get employees.

Paula Rosenblum
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

I do not expect openings on Christmas Day. In fact, I expect fewer and fewer openings on Thanksgiving Day. Religion aside, there just aren’t enough gross margin dollars in it.

You know, this is supposed to be a secular country so on one level, Christmas would be a more likely opening date than Thanksgiving (which is a secular holiday), but it doesn’t really work that way.

Not gonna happen.

Nikki Baird
Guest
Nikki Baird
3 years 1 month ago

I’m with Bob on this. If the War on Christmas people believe that any retailer is even contemplating a Christmas Day opening, they would slaughter them in the public domain.

However, I can’t resist pointing out that any retailer worth their omnichannel salt should have no problem taking orders on Christmas Day for inventory located in stores, whether the store is open or not. For the bored consumer at home, avoiding family by browsing online, is there a real fundamental difference between knowing that you have reserved an in-store purchase that you can pick up tomorrow, guaranteed, vs. actually dragging out to the store to pick it up that day?

On Christmas Day, I suspect *knowing* that you have what you want is as good as actually physically having it — assuming retailers can deliver on a promise like that.

Patricia Vekich Waldron
Guest
Patricia Vekich Waldron
3 years 1 month ago

For me, I’m happy to see the pendulum swinging back towards holidays being “sacred,” i.e., non-shopping in stores on Thanksgiving. It was heartening to see the number of retailers close up shop, especially when consumers can shop online any time. Given that it’s possible to browse, shop, return and exchange anywhere, anytime I’d prefer to do from the comfort of my home!

Cathy Hotka
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

It’s amazing that we’re even having this discussion.

Tim Cote
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

I am confused. Start opening on Christmas? Too late. Already started. C-store has always been open Christmas, Drug joined c-store awhile back. Many independent grocers are open Christmas. Movie theaters and more and more restaurants are open Christmas. As for employees, they are already working Christmas. Most mass-marketers have crews in stores on Christmas getting ready for the day after Christmas clearance sales, putting out Valentine’s Day and other late-winter seasonal items, etc.

Lee Kent
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

Oh pah-leese! Is there nothing sacred left?

Shop online if you must but let retailers and their employees have a break!

And that’s my 2 cents.

Gordon Arnold
Guest
3 years 1 month ago
I’m surprised we have any store closings for any time or day at all. The country’s population is becoming more diverse every day with non Judeo-Christian backgrounds and preferences being a large majority of the newcomers. People don’t want to live in the United States of America for religious holidays and vacation, they’re here for the money, a car and a house. Europe is a better selection for a holiday and vacation-rich lifestyle. What is telling in terms of our developing culture is how we disavow or ignore the religious practice and traditions of our citizens both birthed and naturalized. The indifference to faith, freedoms and identity that is nourished and protected by political correctness is also disguising the brazen disregard and contempt for religious freedoms of any kind, in spite of the legal guarantees. This discussion is not just about taking the day off for religious celebration. It may also be construed as a communication which informs us all that religious freedoms are considered no longer a social priority in need of protection by… Read more »
Kenneth Leung
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

Personally I won’t shop on Christmas Day unless it is an emergency, like a pharmacy. But the new generation born of 24×7 stimulus on content will probably shop in store on Xmas day if given a chance. Remember retail web sites aren’t closed on Xmas day and there are retail ops people working on Xmas, so the translation to the store in the mind of the shoppers is logical. There are employees who don’t mind working Xmas due to personal belief, and appreciate the extra holiday pay.

Steve Montgomery
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

While it may happen, I hope it does not. Why would it happen, because someone thinks they can make an extra dollar in the name of being customer focused?

Admittedly, not everyone celebrates Christmas and stores are open on holidays of other religions. Perhaps they should be, but were this to occur, I agree with all those before that said the retailer who does this first deserves a big bah humbug.

Mike B
Guest
Mike B
3 years 1 month ago

Being from Nevada, I’ve observed that many businesses have always been open Christmas Day: casinos, airports, ski resorts at Lake Tahoe, movie theaters… Starbucks has large Open Christmas Day banners on some locations and many McDonald’s and gas stations are also open. As long as there is profit to be made, businesses will open.

With that said, given how many returns take place on 12/26, why open 12/25 to have to give money back sooner? I am not sure there is a possible gain for retailers to open on 12/25, especially factoring in holiday pay.

One thing that has always confused me is the early closing time on 12/24. I do feel some sales are being missed by not staying open later that night.

Shep Hyken
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

If you think the uproar over being open on Thanksgiving was bad….

Mark Burr
Guest
3 years 1 month ago
In the future? The future is past. There already are openings on Christmas. We are at the point where we were just prior to the all at once move for Thanksgiving. More this year, more next year, then all will crumble at once. While we remain in the cycle of a guilt culture, all of the holidays are slipping past recognition. It is the removal of one culture for another. So be it, but as a society, culture, and community, we’ll regret it. It is not a specific “War on Christmas,” it is a dismantling of culture, way of life, and respect of heritage. Once it is dismantled, you can then overtake it without a challenge because there is nothing of meaning to take a stand upon to retain its values. If no one stands for anything that matters, then a society becomes one that doesn’t matter altogether and isn’t worth standing up to preserve. When we look back, and it won’t be all that long, we’ll wonder how did that happen. It will have… Read more »
Karen McNeely
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

This will not happen simply because there isn’t the monetary reward for it. The day after Christmas is a day of returns and low margins for retailers. And if they have a policy of paying staff more on holidays, there are higher staffing costs as well.

Naomi K. Shapiro
Guest
Naomi K. Shapiro
3 years 1 month ago

Heaven help me, I think being open on Christmas is sacrilegious.

Is it important a time for returns and exchanges?

Maybe, to people who don’t have any other time to do this, are tired of being with other people all day, who are anxious for the instant gratification of exchanging for something they really want; or maybe need the instant cash, if they can get a refund rather than a credit on something.

I do think that “service” or emergency businesses and services should be open, and some Chinese restaurants.

Jonathan Hinz
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

Retail and online shopping are not ready for opening the doors during non-traditional times.

On Black Friday, Trustpilot.com saw negative online reviews left by consumers increase by 30% while on Cyber Monday negative reviews increased by a whopping 55% (compared to a normal day).

This just goes to show that if businesses aren’t prepared to deal with the logistical challenges, then consumers will (loudly) voice their feedback of those experiences.

Nobody wants a bad experience when you’re returning something at the store. Let’s not make that experience worse by adding holiday logistics into the mix.

Tim Moerke
Guest
Tim Moerke
3 years 1 month ago

When in doubt, blame Millennials, I guess.

In all seriousness, I don’t see this taking off, because the sales probably aren’t there to justify either the operating expense or the PR backlash. But as others have mentioned, not only have other types of businesses long been open on Christmas, stores are often open on major holidays for other religions as well. Plus even companies that are theoretically closed on any given day are likely to have at least a small number of people working behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly. So really, that ship has sailed a long time ago.

Peter Charness
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

24 hour shopping, 365 days a week. That’s what we need. Isn’t it a constitutional right to shop whenever, however wherever we want? Maybe there’s a way of doing that without needing to hire tons more retail associates driving costs up. Oh wait…there is, online. As for the rest of brick and mortar, leave those stores closed just a few days a year for goodness’ sake.

Arie Shpanya
Guest
3 years 1 month ago

The opening of stores earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving is probably leading to this discussion, because years ago this would be out of the question. I’m sure that some consumers would shop: more shopping days, more potential sales, but is it worth it? Mulitchannel and pure play retailers can test the waters with online sales on Christmas, but I don’t see retailers opening their physical doors any Christmas soon.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"The conversations on RetailWire tend to center around "what is right for the shopper" — and rightly so. The old saying "nothing happens until somebody sells (buys) something" still applies."
"I do not expect openings on Christmas Day. In fact, I expect fewer and fewer openings on Thanksgiving Day. Religion aside, there just aren’t enough gross margin dollars in it."
"24 hour shopping, 365 days a week. That’s what we need. Isn’t it a constitutional right to shop whenever, however wherever we want?"

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