Foothills Mall in Maryville and College Square in Morristown will not be open for business on Thanksgiving Day, the malls' ownership company announced Wednesday.
Employees welcomed the surprising news.
"I thought it was great," said Foothills Mall security guard Bill Hyde."Just shows that they are looking out for their employees and their customers and the tenants to give them a chance to be home to eat Thanksgiving dinner with their families."
The day off also gives employees a chance to rest up for the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday.
"We are all pretty thankful to get some time to eat a little turkey with everybody at the house," said Sprint Store Manager Christian Bradberry.
CBL & Associates Properties Inc., based in Chattanooga, will close all of its regional shopping centers for the holiday this year.
The shopping centers will open at 6 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25.
“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 Inc. in a press release Wednesday. “After evaluating feedback from our mall employees, retail partners and input from our shoppers we determined that this was the best decision for our properties.”
CBL said department stores, movie theaters and retailers with exterior mall entrances will have the option to open their stores on Thursday. Access to mall common areas will be restricted until 6 a.m. Friday.
They are among dozens of retailers looking to go back to tradition. Shoppers we spoke with weren't worried about missing out on another day.
"I think it's good they are closing down and for families to spend time together," said Kelly Jordan. "They've got Friday, Saturday and Sunday to shop!"
Not every business is jumping on board, but many believe the movement is a step forward in the right direction.
"I think we should go back to Thanksgiving being about families and holidays and being thankful for each other instead of thankful to go out and get a good deal," said Jordan.
The country's largest mall - Mall of America in Minnesota - recently announced that it will be closed on Thanksgiving.