retail news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  USA Today reports that the nation's largest mall company, Simon Property Group, has decided that all of its m alls will be closed on Thanksgiving this year.

The move follows decisions by a number of retailers - including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Kohl's and Home Depot - to be closed on the holiday, which is a shift away from opening strategies of recent years.

Closing stores for Thanksgiving has the dual advantage of giving stressed-out employees a day off and reducing the likelihood of possible super-spreader events.  It will be interesting to see how they handle Black Friday;  while some are guessing that customers won't be as inclined to rush out to crowded stores, retailers can't leave that to chance.  Which is one of the reasons that Home Depot already has decided to spread its Black Friday promotions across November and December.  Smart move.

•  USA Today reports that Hobby Lobby is raising its minimum full-time hourly wage to $17, saying that " it was one of the first retailers to establish a nationwide minimum hourly wage 'well above the federal minimum wage and has since raised its minimum wages ten times over the last eleven years'."

Doing this allows Hobby Lobby to change the conversation away from calls for a consumer boycott that emerged after a picture was posted on social media that promoted President Trump's re-election.