Responding to complaints from its employees, RadioShack is scaling back its plan to stay open all day on Thanksgiving Day.
The Fort Worth-based retailer, which announced Monday that it would open more than 3,000 stores from 8 a.m. to midnight on the holiday, now plans to close them between noon and 5 p.m. to give employees more time with their families. The stores will then be open until midnight, and reopen at 6 a.m. for Black Friday, the traditional kickoff for the holiday shopping season.
“We understand the long operating hours posed potential issues with personal scheduling,” Chief Executive Officer Joe Magnacca said in a memo to employees obtained by Bloomberg News. “Therefore, we have created an adjusted schedule that will eliminate that concern and still capture the opportunity in the marketplace.”
Many retailers have pushed the launch of Christmas season shopping from Black Friday to Thanksgiving in recent years, and openings featuring “doorbuster” specials have been moving earlier. This year, Plano-based J.C. Penney, Best Buy and Toy R Us have all announced plans to open at 5 p.m., while Target and Macy’s plan to open at 6 p.m.
RadioShack, which last year opened just a small number of stores on Thanksgiving, decided to jump earlier in a bid to win shoppers during what will be a critical season for the struggling retailer. At 8 a.m., it would be one of the first retailers to open on Thanksgiving (though Kmart, which no longer has stores in North Texas, announced a 6 a.m. opening.)
Wal-Mart Stores, the world’s largest retailer, will stage what it calls a “New Black Friday” event, featuring five days of sales beginning on Thanksgiving day at 6 p.m. Many Walmart stores are open all day on Thanksgiving, as are Walgreens drugstores.
By operating on Thanksgiving, stores aim to extend the traditional Black Friday surge that occurs the day afterward. In the memo, Magnacca cited data showing that most Black Friday weekend sales came on Thanksgiving last year.
“For those who have been with RadioShack for a while, you know that in years past we have opened varying numbers of stores on Thanksgiving Day,” he said. “Last year we took a very different approach and only opened stores required to open per leasing agreements. The result was disappointing sales for RadioShack, not just on that day but for the entire Thanksgiving weekend, due to non-competitive operating hours.”
RadioShack spokeswoman Merianne Roth said the company listened to its associates and shortened the store hours.
“We want to do the right thing for our associates as well as our customers,” she said.
RadioShack employees posted comments on an internal message board complaining about the disruption of opening on Thanksgiving — and the short notice that was given. Some have even resigned, according to one store manager. “My staff isn’t coming in … they refuse,” another employee posted. “I DON’T BLAME THEM.”
RadioShack has posted 10 straight quarters of losses and recently secured new financing to avoid a bankruptcy filing. In September, it reported a second-quarter loss of $137.4 million as sales declined by 22 percent. The company had only $30.5 million in cash on its books as of Aug. 2.
Staff writer Steve Kaskovich contributed to this report, which includes material from Bloomberg News.