Mall of America to close on Thanksgiving

Mall of America closing for Thanksgiving

NEW YORK -- Mall of America, the nation's largest shopping mall, will be closed on Thanksgiving this year.

Employees of the Mall of America received notifications Wednesday morning that the mall, including its indoor amusement park and movie theaters, will close on Thanksgiving Day, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The shopping center in Bloomington, Minnesota has been open on the turkey feast since 2012, but the mall told The Associated Press it wants to offer workers time with their families on the holiday.

The mall will re-open at 5 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving.

Its more than 520 stores will have the option to remain open, so security and other key personnel will be on duty to ensure smooth operations.

Mall of America's move flies in the face of recent years' Black Friday trends, which have seen the official kickoff of the holiday shopping season creep further and further back into the hours of Thanksgiving night.

The Mall of America first opened late for Thanksgiving shoppers at midnight in 2012, according to AP. By the following year, the Black Friday kickoff hours had pushed back further to 8 p.m. In 2014 and 2015, the mall opened at 6 p.m.

More than 150 stores joined in the malls' evening hours last year, with many staying open through the night, the Star Tribune reported.

The newspaper noted that analysts question the effectiveness of early openings, finding the practice simply spread sales over more days without increasing earnings. The Mall of America sees about 400,000 shoppers over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The mall's movie theaters and its amusement park, called Nickelodeon Universe, will close on Thanksgiving Day for the first time in the mall's 24-year history, the Star Tribune noted.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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