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Under Armour plans to keep its stores closed on Thanksgiving

Under Armour has joined a long list of retailers reversing a decade-long trend in which stores have opened on Thanksgiving to kick off Black Friday holiday shopping.

The Baltimore-based sports apparel brand said Friday it will close all its UA Brand House and UA Factory House shops in the U.S. on Thanksgiving, Nov. 26. Under Armour’s stores will reopen on Friday, Nov. 27.

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As the pandemic has kept shoppers out of stores and sent them online in droves, retailers have begun to reverse course on what had been earlier and earlier store openings to capture holiday shoppers.

“This entire year has been unpredictable and for all of us, challenging in our own ways,” Patrik Frisk, Under Armour’s CEO, said in an announcement.

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Under Armour has more than 6,000 retail workers at 179 locations in the U.S.

Walmart was the first to announce, on July 21, a Thanksgiving closure, followed soon after by Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Best Buy. The list has grown since then, including Kohl’s, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Boscov’s, JCPenney, Sam’s Club and others.

Frisk said Under Armour wants to let workers “pause and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday before finishing out the year strong.”

End of year and holiday sales always are crucial for retailers, but even more so this year for Under Armour, which had been struggling even before the pandemic hit.

During the quarter ended June 30, with company-owned outlets and other stores selling Under Armour products closed, the brand lost $183 million. Company sales are expected to be down as much as 25% this year.

Some analysts have recently seen positive signs that the brand is taking advantage of the economic slowdown to reset before trying to rebuild.

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