Metro-East News

Shoppers rejoice at mall’s decision to close on Thanksgiving

The company that controls St. Clair Square said its decision to close the property for Thanksgiving Day is meant to give employees time with their families and to build anticipation for Black Friday.

“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, CBL & Associates Properties.

“After evaluating feedback from our mall employees and retail partners as well as input from our shoppers, we determined that this was the best decision for our properties,” Lebovitz added.

The company operates three other malls in the St. Louis region and 73 malls across the country.

Stores attached to the mall with their own exterior entrances have the option to open Thanksgiving Day if they want, the company said.

At St. Clair Square, one of the four exterior stores —Dillards— has confirmed it would close. Of the others, Sears and JCPenney had not decided yet, and representative reached at Macy’s did not know.

Navy Veteran Melissa Trotter was at the mall Thursday and said she was glad to learn of the plans to close for the holiday.

“I think it’s a good idea that the mall will close to give families the time to get together and have fun,” Trotter said. “I’m a veteran, so I know how important family can be, especially when you’re away for so long. You want to come home and just spend that time.”

Briana Seegers of Pontoon Beach said closing the mall for Thanksgiving Day was “an absolutely wonderful idea.”

“Being at home with your family is so very, very important,” Seegers said.

“I think it’s a great idea that some of the malls are being closed for Thanksgiving,” said John Sutter of Belleville. “It’s traditional, it’s the way it used to be way back when and puts the emphasis on family and not on money.”

Tobias Wall: 618-239-2501, @Wall_BND