Tags: Profit | Public Relations | Thanksgiving

Companies Choose Thanksgiving PR Over Profit

Tuesday, 11 November 2014 09:32 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Should businesses open on Thanksgiving? There are many different thoughts on this great holiday debate. Two years ago the first retail businesses began encroaching on the national Thanksgiving holiday.

Coming at the end of the Great Recession, the general public cringed — then sort of shrugged. They understood the appeal. For many, the idea of hitting the mall early instead of watching your relatives pass out on the couch in a tryptophan coma sounded pretty awesome.

Entrepreneurs from Jonah Engler to big brands like Toys R Us joined the list of those opening early on Thanksgiving. The list includes such national chains at Kohl’s, Macy’s, JC Penney, and Sears. K-mart tops them all, actually opening its doors at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

While some savvy shoppers are acclaiming this trend — rejoicing in one more day of Black Friday madness — others have made staying closed a major point of their public relations campaigns.

Retailers such as Jo-Ann Fabrics, Home Depot, Lowes, and Costco have sworn to stay shuttered on Thanksgiving. In fact, Costco actually upped the public relations ante, saying they chose to do so because their employees deserve the chance to stay home and celebrate with their families. Consider the gauntlet officially thrown down.

There can be no way for competitors such as Sam's Club to see that. It’s a direct challenge. “We are more American than you because we actually care about our employees.”

How will the public view that message, and how will the competition respond? Across the board, the big mall chain stores, might stand to lose a lot if they defy the competition and remained closed. No one really knows how much might be lost or left on the table.

Given the state of the economy where department store retail is concerned, none of these stores are prepared to find out the hard way. On the flip-side, stores such as Jo-Ann’s, which markets to a demographic that tends to hold more entrenched reverence for family and holiday functions, stand to gain by reinforcing this commitment to family time.

Even if they were open, everyone who loves to decorate is at home, enjoying their holiday decorations with their families. Will they show up afterward for the massive markdowns? Absolutely, but there’s no reason to have it, if you don’t take the time to enjoy it.

The bottom line? To determine where to land on this scale between public relations and profit one may never know what the right decision is.

Ronn Torossian is one of America’s foremost Public Relations executives as founder/CEO of 5WPR, a leading independent PR Agency. The firm was honored as PR Firm of the Year by The American Business Awards, and has been named to the Inc. 500 List. Torossian is author of the best-selling "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations." For more of Ronn Torossian's reports, Go Here Now.

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Two years ago the first retail businesses began encroaching on the national Thanksgiving holiday.
Profit, Public Relations, Thanksgiving
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 09:32 AM
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