Most of the stores open in 2018 will be open again this year.

Somewhere between the Halloween retail season that begins in August and the Christmas retail season that begins in September and earlier, falls Thanksgiving. As retail has basically turned all holidays into a shopper's paradise, of course, many people are gearing up for Black Friday sales galore.

However, as a few retailers are opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day, some are saying enough is enough and encouraging people to *gasp* spend time with families, spend time outdoors, and enjoy the holiday for the holiday.

I'm a family Thanksgiving AND Black Friday enthusiast, I won't lie. One of the best Thanksgivings I ever had was enjoying a day of family time, followed by hitting the late-night/early morning sales with my nieces, capped off with a giddy 3 a.m. meal at the only place that was open, Steak & Shake (RIP Highlands Ranch Steak & Shake, you served us well). I don't think I bought anything and I'm pretty sure I've never giggled so much in my life.

But I give serious kudos to the retailers who put their employees and customers ahead of profit and remain closed. While I'm all for people that would like to work on the holiday being able to earn some serious overtime, it's also nice that a few stores are putting their foot down on the increasing commercialization of holidays. One of the first to do this was REI, deciding that while they had been open on Black Friday in the past, it was time to end that practice. 

For years, Black Friday was one of the biggest sales periods for the store. But, the positive feedback from moving away from participating in the shopping event, has been overwhelming. Encouraging people to get outdoors instead of shop, it was also a shrewd business move that really helped the company avoid the "constant discount" war that many retailers have fallen into (think: Kohl's), often to their detriment. 

"For the fifth time this Black Friday, REI Co-op will close all its stores, process no online payments and pay all 13,000 employees to #OptOutside with friends and family. But this year, under the leadership of a new CEO and facing a global environmental crisis, the co-op is going a step further: asking its 13,000 employees and 18 million members to join in the fight for life outdoors – and life on this planet," said REI in a statement

You can learn more about the #OptOutside movement on the REI website

Below is a list of other stores that will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, as of October 18 (some will be closed Black Friday, as well), courtesy of BestBlackFriday.com:

  • Army and Airforce Exchange Service
  • A.C. Moore – (some stores open for Black Friday at 5 a.m.)
  • Academy Sports and Outdoors
  • Ace Hardware
  • Ann Taylor
  • BJ’s – (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
  • Barnes and Noble – (open for Black Friday at 8 a.m.)
  • Bob’s Discount Furniture (open for Black Friday at 9 a.m.)
  • Burlington Coat Factory (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
  • Costco
  • Fleet Farm – (open for Black Friday at 6 a.m.)
  • Guitar Center – (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
  • Half-Price Books
  • Hobby Lobby – (open for Black Friday at 8 a.m.)
  • HomeGoods – (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
  • Lowe’s – (open for Black Friday at 6 a.m.)
  • Marshalls – (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
  • Menards
  • Neiman Marcus – (open for Black Friday at 8 a.m.)
  • Office Depot (open for Black Friday at 8 a.m.)
  • OfficeMax (open for Black Friday at 8 a.m.)
  • Petco – (open for Black Friday at 8 a.m.)
  • Petsmart
  • REI (closed on Black Friday)
  • Sam’s Club
  • Sierra Trading Post – (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
  • Staples – (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
  • Stein Mart
  • The Container Store
  • T.J.Maxx – (open for Black Friday at 7 a.m.)
  • True Value

You can also see a list of stores that have been closed in the past but have yet to confirm this year on BestBlackFriday.com, as well. 

If you want to see which stores will be open, and when they throw their doors open to the sales, BlackFriday.com is an excellent resource for all things hours, sales, and more.

What do you think about Thanksgiving/Black Friday shopping? Should stores stay closed on Thanksgiving or are you all for the early sales? Let us know in the comments below.