Braden Ernst

Hy-Vee on S 1st Avenue in Iowa City is seen on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Hy-Vee will be closing for the first time on Thanksgiving Day.

Point/Counterpoint | Should stores and restaurants be open on Thanksgiving?

Luke Krchak and Kyle Tristan Ortega share their opinions on whether stores and restaurants should be opened on the November holiday.

November 15, 2022


Stores opening on Thanksgiving is a win for everyone.

As families prepare their Thanksgiving feast, it is inevitable that one necessary ingredient will be missing. Thanksgiving can be a stressful day for the family chef, and not being able to get the one vital ingredient only adds more stress.

While cooking is a good option for Thanksgiving dinner, it’s nice to have the option to eat out. The main part of Thanksgiving is family, and food should not be the barrier to enjoying that.

In a survey of 1,800 individuals by cars.com, 80 percent of respondents said they plan to drive to their Thanksgiving destination. During my family trips to Illinois on Thanksgiving, we often eat our Thanksgiving feast at one of the few restaurants open.

Black Friday also comes after Thanksgiving. Closing stores the day before the busiest shopping day of the year is counterproductive — it adds an extra amount of people and stress to employees working on Black Friday.

Initiatives like stores extending deals into the weekend is a good start, but having stores open during Thanksgiving could ease the load of customers on Black Friday.

Additionally, remaining open on Thanksgiving is a win for employees. Many companies — like CVS, Walgreens, and Whole Foods — offer holiday pay on Thanksgiving.

Stores should treat Thanksgiving like another day of being open. Consumers should spread out their shopping to ease the madness of shopping on Black Friday.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.



Thanksgiving is a time of year when friends and family should get together.

Allowing employees to stay home will enable them to enjoy that.

Though it would be beneficial for people who need to do some last-minute shopping if stores stayed open on Thanksgiving, this would come at the cost of store employees missing quality time with their loved ones.

As consumers, this idea might not be at the forefront of our minds. But it is important to realize that store workers have lives outside their jobs as well. Closing stores on Thanksgiving will allow them to live those lives and celebrate the holiday.

Moreover, if we consider some of the reasons why stores would want to remain open during the holidays, staying open is pro-employer instead of pro-employee.

Stores would lose potential sales if they were closed on Thanksgiving. If a competitor stayed open, it would be disadvantageous for closed stores.

These are not good reasons to make employees work during the holidays. Thanksgiving is a time when people are supposed to give thanks and spend quality time with their loved ones, so making a profit should be the least of anyone’s worries.

I am not arguing that people who need to do last-minute shopping should be left to their own devices or that stores should completely stop caring about doing business. But I am arguing that employees should get to spend time with their friends and family.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.


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