Christopher & Banks, C.J. Banks To Defy Mall Fines, Close On Thanksgiving Day

Image courtesy of (Nicholas Eckhart)

You may not have heard of the clothing store chain Christopher & Banks/C.J. Banks, but that’s probably because you’re not a woman of a certain age or a certain dress size. They’re a chain that sells clothing aimed at mature women. The important thing to know, other than that they sell some nice corduroys, is that the chain is defying the malls where it rents and staying closed on Thanksgiving Day this year.

We learned this not because the company is making a big deal of their stance, but because a memo sent out to all stores yesterday was leaked to the Facebook page Boycott Black Thursday. An employee snapped a picture of it and shared it, to overwhelmingly positive feedback.

c_banks_memo

In part, the memo, signed by the company CEO and the senior vice president for store operations, says:

[W]e have made the decision that all stores will be closed on Thanksgiving day, regardless of the mall requirements. Thanksgiving is a special time and the opportunity to share time and memories with your family and friends. We hope that you take some time to rest, relax and eat a bountiful meal (or two).

We have much business to do over the Holiday Season, and we know you’re up to the challenge. Again, we thank you for all that you do.

We checked out this information, which the page has turned into an easily-shareable image meme. A different bit of retail information also became a Boycott Black Thursday meme, the allegation that property management company Simon Malls plans to charge its tenants fines of $1,150 per hour if they don’t open on Thanksgiving. Simon denies that it will fine stores that stay closed on Thanksgiving. One retailer at the Walden Galleria in Buffalo, NY went public and told a local news outlet that the mall owners would fine them $200 per hour if they didn’t open for the holiday, but the owner of this mall has not confirmed that figure.

Sources at the Christopher & Banks, meanwhile, confirmed that the memo is real, and that the chain doesn’t plan to open on Thanksgiving Day even if the malls where it has stores do open.

Feedback from random people on Facebook has been overwhelmingly positive, with people making supportive posts and comments on unrelated posts…even though they have not officially announced the planned pro-holiday stance on the company Facebook page. Will this show of support translate to pleased customers showing up in their stores on days that are definitely not Thanksgiving? The chain will find out later this year.