TAMPA, Fla. — Many big retailers announced their stores would be closed on Thanksgiving Day.
Walmart, Best Buy, Kohl's, Target, JCPenny and Dick's Sporting Goods, which stayed open for years, were among those closed on Thursday.
Carol Osborne, a marketing professor at the University of South Florida and Director of the Zimmerman Advertising Program, said she believes stores should close on the holiday. She thinks it is a positive thing for both the consumer and employees.
"I see it as they're doing the right thing. I think it's the right thing to do. We've kind of gotten away from what the holiday means. It doesn't have to mean family to everyone, but it's a holiday. It's a day off to do something else," said Osborne.
Osborne said many retailers are offering events and deals earlier in the holiday season. She said shopping online is convenient and makes it easier to compare prices at different stores.
"We talk about it in class and it's a no-brainer for them. Why would I go to the store when I can order it and get it shipped for free and return it for free if I don't like it?" said Osborne.
RECOMMENDED: BBB warns of sophisticated online shopping scams
Nearly two million more people than last year are expected to shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday this year even as consumers have continued the trend of starting their holiday shopping earlier in the year, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
According to the National Retail Federation, the survey also addressed what consumers plan to buy. Clothing continued to top the list, expected to be given by 53% of shoppers, followed by gift cards at 46%, toys at 39%, books/music/movies/video games at 35% and food/candy at 31% as the top five categories.
The survey of 7,837 adult consumers was conducted between November 1 and 10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.%.