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Costco, BJ's and Others Staying Closed for Thanksgiving, Praised for Respecting Families and Workers

With the recent discussion focused on companies opening even earlier this Thanksgiving, other national retailers are staying closed, insisting that the holiday should be spent with family.

"Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season, and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families," Paul Latham, Costco's vice president for membership and marketing, told The Huffington Post. "Nothing more complicated than that."

Wal-mart, Kmart, Target have all had to deal with negative press this past week regarding their holiday hours starting on Thanksgiving and there has even been talk of possible boycotts, but Costco and BJ's are getting praised for their decision to keep families together during the holidays.

"Maybe call me old-fashioned, but I feel that it's an easy decision to make [to stay closed on Thanksgiving]," Laura Sen, the CEO of BJs Wholesale Club, told The Huffington Post.

Sen added that they had tried staying open on Thanksgiving but that the customer response was just not there.

There have been numerous petitions online calling customers to boycott the stores opening on Thanksgiving, but the idea of missing out on the big sale could prove a greater concern than that of a family being together.

"It's very tragic to me to see stores that [are] increasingly opening on the holiday, which is not only a stress to people who are planning on shopping, but also for the workers," wrote Nadja Gutowski, 47, who started an online petition in response to Kmart opening at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving. "We all want the sales, but can you just hold them until Friday?"

Kmart will open its doors at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and will stay open through Black Friday, giving shoppers 41 straight hours of continuous shopping.

The move to open early and stay open late comes after less-than-stellar consumer confidence reports ahead of the holiday shopping season. It was also in part due to a calendar quirk that will see this holiday season lose six shopping days, according to a recent report from Adobe Digital Marketing.

A survey released Monday, from financial consulting firm BDO, concluded that retailers expect a 2.5 percent increase in holiday sales at stores open at least a year, which is far more pessimistic than last year's predictions.

"We're seeing retailers enter the holiday season with realistic, rather than optimistic, expectations," said Doug Hart, partner in BDO's retail division, in a statement.

Kmart officials decided to open the stores earlier this year after customer feedback indicated shoppers wanted more flexible shopping hours during the holiday.

"Kmart has been a destination for early-bird shopping and last-minute entertaining needs on Thanksgiving Day for 22 years," Kmart spokeswoman Shanelle Armstrong wrote in an email to The Huffington Post. "We staff with teams & seasonal associates when possible, giving them the opportunity to make extra money during holiday."

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