Mall of America Gives Thanksgiving Back to Employees

The Mall of America is fighting back against Black Friday’s holiday encroachment this year as it will shut its doors this Thanksgiving.

Stores will have the option to chose to remain open, but mall executives are hoping to allow their employees to stay home with their families this November 24. Security and other key personnel will still be on duty for the stores that do choose to remain open, as well as for the mall’s annual Walk to End Hunger Fundraiser. A list of the stores choosing to remain open will be kept up to date on the mall’s website.

The mall hopes the majority of the 15,000 employees who work their will be able to remain at home with their families. Approximately 1,200 people are employed directly by the mall itself, while the rest are employed by the various retailers and other business located inside the mall complex.

A letter from Mall of America Executive Vice President Rich Hoge and Senior Vice President of Marketing Jill Renslow was sent out to to all Mall of America tenants and employees Wednesday morning. In it they outlined the decision and the reasons for it.

“In years past we’ve all rallied together to answer the call for 24/7 shopper access that the Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend brings,” Hoge and Renslow wrote, “However, it also meant that team members may not have been able to share the day with family and friends. That is why this year we have made the decision to close on Thanksgiving Day so that team members can put that energy where it matters most, into making memories with the people they care about most.”

The mall’s press release emphasizes its desire to deliver a guest experience. This year they mean to do that by letting their employees head home for the holiday, in order to be “going big beginning Black Friday morning.”

Doors will re-open at 5 a.m. on Friday the 25 for the actual Black Friday festivities.

Anders Koskinen