Toys R Us is among the group of retailers who have decided to open for business on Thanksgiving Day. The toy chain will open their stores at 5:00 P.M. on the holiday, meaning employees in their stores will have to leave their family gatherings early and head to work.
“We had incredibly positive feedback with customers who shopped with us on Thanksgiving last year,” Chief Merchandising Officer Richard Barry said in a recent interview.
Toys R Us, along with other big-box retailers, have opened their stores earlier and earlier each year in an effort to get shoppers into their stores for the Black Friday rush. With so many online establishments offering good deals on Thanksgiving Day, brick and mortar stores quickly realized they were losing out on a distinct group of paying customers.
Toys R Us Black Friday sales will start at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving http://t.co/sr82BWhAc2
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) November 8, 2014
“We saw that people really enjoyed the early opening, and frankly we saw the sales on Black Friday itself being very strong,” Barry said. “There wasn’t as much pressure on that 10 p.m. or midnight time. It was more spread out and people had a more civilized shopping experience.”
Toys R Us also unveiled a few other initiatives on Thursday aimed to make the shopping experience smoother during the busy holiday season. The company is placing employees–each will be called a “Guru for Play Stuff,” at the front of the store to help assist customer navigation. New express lanes will help speed up the checkout process for those buying two items or less. Employees will also have the ability to scan items inside a cart and get their customers out the door quickly.
Toys R Us seems to have thought of everything with regard to the Black Friday rush. It is actually beating stores like Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and Kohl’s, who are also opening Thanksgiving Day, but not until later in the evening. The one thing the store hasn’t addressed–at least not publicly–is how its employees feel about working on this holiday.