York Galleria closed for Thanksgiving

David Weissman
  • York Galleria will be closed for Thanksgiving and open at 6 a.m. for Black Friday.
  • Galleria's department stores -- Bon-Ton, Boscov's and Sears -- could remain open if they choose.
  • Decision is bucking a trend of more stores opening on Thanksgiving in recent years.

This year, Black Friday shoppers will have to wait until Black Friday to look for deals at the York Galleria.

York Galleria mall is shown Thursday, March 17, 2016. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The Springettsbury Township mall will be closed on Thanksgiving before opening at 6 a.m. Nov. 25., according to a letter from the president and CEO of CBL & Associates Properties, the mall's owner.

"Over the last few years, we’ve watched as the magic of Black Friday has been diminished by an earlier start to the holiday shopping season," Stephen Lebovitz writes in his letter. "Gone are the days of waking before dawn to hunt for deals and doorbusters. Well, not this year.

"We want you to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends and come fresh and excited to spend Black Friday with us. So enjoy that extra plate of pie at dinner, take a long afternoon nap, set your alarm and wake up with us to bring back the magic of Black Friday."

In recent years, York Galleria had opened its doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

CBL & Associates, one of the largest mall owners in the country, said Wednesday it would be closing most of its 89 shopping centers for Thanksgiving, according to an Associated Press report.

Company spokeswoman Stacey Keating said the malls' anchor department stores — Bon-Ton, Boscov's and Sears at York Galleria — will be allowed to remain open at their own discretion.

The Galleria is in the process of filling the vacant space left by former department store occupant JCPenney with H&M, a Swedish clothing company, and Gold's Gym.

Swedish clothing company moving into York Galleria

H&M is expected to open ahead of the holiday season, Keating said, but she didn't have an exact date yet, and Gold's Gym is expected to open during the spring of 2017.

The company also owns the nearby York Town Center, which includes Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods and Staples. Keating said Dick's and Best Buy will remain open, while Staples and Christmas Tree Shops will be closed on Thanksgiving. She was not aware of what the other shops will do.

The Friday after Thanksgiving had long served as the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season. But over the past several years, Thanksgiving has become the new tradition amid increasing competition from online retailers.

The move has been controversial, as many workers have complained that stores are putting their profits over workers' time with their families. The dynamics are changing now, given a tighter labor market. And stores also are  seeing that they're not getting a significant sales bump by opening an extra day over the holiday weekend, since sales are being spread out throughout the week.

Black Friday began Wednesday for these Yorkers

Keating said CBL & Associates found that opening on Thanksgiving just spread the Black Friday sales volume over two days and led to slight increases in operating expenses, but the main driver of this decision wasn't financial.

"We wanted to allow our employees to spend the holiday with their families," she said.

Office Depot, Mall of America and hhgregg are among others to announce they would be closed for Thanksgiving this year, according to AP reports.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.