A bit of sanity will return to the holiday shopping calendar.
CBL & Associates Properties, owner of West Towne and East Towne malls in Madison and the Janesville Mall, announced Wednesday that the malls will be closed on Thanksgiving and won’t open for Black Friday shopping until 6 a.m. Nov. 25.
The move comes as retailers over the past several years have continued to open earlier, ultimately leading to hours on Thanksgiving Day.
“Locally I’m not surprised because of the number of retailers who are jumping on the list of not opening,” said Tiffany Schultz, marketing director at East Towne and West Towne. “The consumer has asked for this.”
Last week, Mall of America, the nation’s largest shopping center, announced that it would be closed on Thanksgiving after being open on the day since 2012.
Hilldale Shopping Center has not been open on Thanksgiving in the past and will remain closed this year, according to its website.
The hours for other big box retailers such as Kohl’s, Target, Walmart and Best Buy have not been announced.
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In 2015, local CBL malls were open on Thanksgiving from 6 p.m. to midnight and reopened at 6 a.m. Friday. In 2014, the mall opened at 6 p.m. and stores had the option to close between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Friday and were required to open at 6 a.m. Friday, Schultz said.
In 2013, the malls closed on Thanksgiving but opened at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.
But in 2012, some stores opened at midnight on Thanksgiving evening and remained open through the night with other stores opening by 5 a.m.
In 2011, the malls opened by 5 a.m. on Black Friday, but with Boston Store opening at midnight and J.C. Penney and Sears at 4 a.m. Friday.
Schultz said those three stores plan to open at some point on Thanksgiving Day this year but their hours have not yet been announced. However, the common areas of the malls will not be open, Schultz said.
Last year, J.C. Penney opened at 3 p.m. with Boston Store and Toys R’ Us opening at 5 p.m. Stores in the mall had an option to open or not last year on Thanksgiving, with about half of the 125 retailers at West Towne choosing to open, Schultz said.
“We want to bring back the excitement of Black Friday shopping as the true start of the holiday shopping season and allow our employees, retailers, and shoppers to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with their families,” said Stephen Lebovitz, president and CEO of CBL, which has 72 enclosed mall properties in its portfolio. “After evaluating feedback from our mall employees, retail partners, and input from our shoppers we determined that this was the best decision for our properties.”