Why Target Isn't Open on Thanksgiving Anymore

Target made the permanent move to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day in 2021 after first shutting doors on the holiday a year earlier.

Anyone hoping to get a head start to Black Friday shopping at Target this Thanksgiving will be out of luck. For the fourth year in a row, the retailer is set to keep its doors closed on Thanksgiving Day, a permanent change to Target's Thanksgiving hours that was announced back in 2021 in an effort to give employee's a much-needed break and time to spend with their families amid the busy holiday season.

"We also closed our stores on Thanksgiving Day (in 2020) in order to minimize crowds and help our guests take the stress out of getting the best deals of the season. The response was so positive that we'll carry it forward this year, keeping our Target stores closed all day long on Thanksgiving Day," the company announced in 2021. "This is just one example of how our evolving strategy is meeting the needs of our business and our guests."

Target began opening its stores on Thanksgiving a decade ago, turning Black Friday sales into a weekend-long blitz that kicked off on Turkey Day. The company's decision to keep employees at work on the major U.S. holiday, however, caused plenty of controversy from those believing employees deserved the chance to spend the holidays with their families rather than working long hours. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Target was forced to change tune as retailers were forced to limit crowds in stores, Target joining the long list of retailers that opted to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day 2020. Instead, the chain began offering longer Black Friday deals.

"What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard – one that recognizes our ability to deliver on our guests' holiday wishes both within and well beyond store hours," Target CEO Brian Cornell wrote in a note to employees. "You don't have to wonder whether this is the last Thanksgiving you'll spend with family and friends for a while, because Thanksgiving store hours are one thing we won't 'get back to' when the pandemic finally subsides."

Although Targets nationwide will be closed Thursday, they are set to reopen Friday just in time for Black Friday shopping. Target stores will open at 6 a.m. sharp on Friday, Nov. 24. To get a glimpse at the awesome deals you can score at the retailer this year, check out Target's Black Friday 2023 deals and ad.