The Mall of America will close most of its operations on Thanksgiving Day, including movie theaters and amusements such as Nickelodeon Universe.
The move is meant to reverse the trend of stores getting a head start on Black Friday.
But while the mall itself will close as many operations as possible, individual retailers will have the option to open, which will require mall personnel in security and maintenance positions.
It's likely that many stores will, indeed, choose to be open. Department stores and specialty operators have been opening on Thanksgiving Day (or evening) for the past several years. While the early promotions have done little to lift sales overall, it has helped to alleviate the pressure of Black Friday as crowds stampeded through stores and locations become overwhelmed.
Last year, more than 150 stores at the mall opened on Thanksgiving and many stayed open all night.
Mall of America will open at 5 a.m. Black Friday with a special ceremony and promotions. Jill Renslow, senior VP of marketing and business development, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “We’re excited to give this day back to our employees so they can celebrate with their families.”