America’s largest mall operator won’t open its doors on Thanksgiving as the upcoming holiday shopping season looks to be unlike any before

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FILE PHOTO: Shoppers ascend and descend escalators at the King of Prussia Mall, owned by Simon Property Group, United State's largest retail shopping space, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, U.S., December 8, 2018. Picture taken December 8, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Makela

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Simon Property Group, the US’ largest mall operator, is joining a growing group of retailers in choosing not to open doors on Thanksgiving this year.

“In these challenging times, we made the decision that we will not open on Thanksgiving Day, instead allowing our associates to spend the holiday with their loved ones,” David Simon, chairman, CEO, and president of Simon, said in a press release on Monday.

Simon malls will be open on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The company operates more than 200 malls and shopping centers in the US.

In July, Walmart became the first major retailer to announce it would stay closed on Thanksgiving, ending a years-long tradition of kicking off Black Friday sales on the holiday. Several others, including Target, Kohl’s, and Best Buy have since followed suit.

This year’s holiday season is set to begin earlier than ever thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Many stores will begin to roll out holiday deals in October as they seek to avoid shipping bottlenecks and crowds congregating in stores.

Simon’s decision to keep malls closed also comes at a time when it has begun to add a handful of bankrupt mall store brands to its portfolio. Together with Authentic Brands Group, it bought Lucky Brand for $140 million in July and Brooks Brothers for $325 million in August. Simon and Brookfield Property Group also put together a rescue bid for JCPenney that was submitted to bankruptcy court for approval last week.

SEE ALSO: The holidays will be here around Halloween, as Target, Kohl’s, and Nordstrom roll out deals earlier than ever this year

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Source:: Business Insider

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