25 Unusual Flavors of Familiar Candies

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Chocolate and peanut butter or chocolate and saké? Fortunately, in the ever-evolving candy world, you don’t have to choose. For every tried and true flavor of one of your favorite candies, there’s probably a more adventurous version lurking out there somewhere in the world. Here are 25 of our favorites.

1. CANDY CORN DIPPED MARSHMALLOW PEEPS

Mike Mozart, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Candy corn may be one of the world’s most divisive candies. Each year, as Halloween rolls around, candy lovers often find themselves having to pick a side on the Great Candy Corn Debate: delicious or disgusting? Regardless of your stance on the matter, that doesn’t stop candy makers from trotting out candy corn-flavored versions of their most popular treats. This includes the sugar-loving folks at Peeps, who infuse their already-sweet marshmallow chicks with candy corn flavor, then dip them in white chocolate to up the ante.

2. SEA SALT CHOCOLATE CANDY CORN 

theimpulsivebuy, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Not to be outdone, the candy corn folks have had their own bit of fun playing with both the colors and flavors of the traditionally yellow, orange, and white-tipped treat. One seasonal flavor that seems to be a hit (no matter which side of that aforementioned debate you land on): Sea Salt Chocolate Candy Corn—which, when you think about it, just makes a lot more sense.

3. REESE'S PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA CREME CUPS

Vincent Diamante, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

As one of the world’s most popular candies, Hershey seemed to have stumbled onto flavor-pairing gold when it put chocolate and peanut butter together into one delicious cup. But that doesn’t mean the brand hasn’t messed around with perfection from time to time. In 2007, they paid tribute to Elvis Presley by releasing a limited-edition Peanut Butter and Banana Creme variety, timed to the 30th anniversary of The King’s death.

4. HONEY ROASTED PEANUT BUTTER CUPS

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In April 2017, The Hershey Company announced that some of their most beloved candy bars would receive new, limited-edition flavors modeled after a few of the culinary specialties of different corners of the country. For Georgia, they gave the Peanut Butter Cup a honey-roasted makeover that offered hints of floral, amber, and molasses. (It’s not too late to find some floating around for sale on the internet, including eBay.)

5. BBQ PAYDAY

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As part of that same Hershey promotion, the company debuted a Payday bar that was full of BBQ-seasoned peanuts, in honor of the Lone Star State.

6. GHOST DOTS

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Yet another discontinued treat that is clamoring for a comeback: Ghost Dots, which were really just a regular old box of Dots candy, but with every flavor the same translucent, greenish color, which made it hard to distinguish which flavor you were actually chewing.

7. CHLOROPHYLL PEZ

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PEZ may be celebrating its 90th birthday this year, but this classic candy company isn't living in the past. They are (and always have been) on the cutting edge of new flavors, introducing dozens of new treats over the years. But even if you’re a rabid collector of their candies and dispensers, you might not know that in the 1960s they introduced a chlorophyll version of the dispensable candy, for anyone craving a plant-flavored experience.

8. PRETZEL M&MS

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Milk chocolate M&MS are so 30 years ago. Beginning in the 1980s, M&Ms began experimenting with different flavors and textures for its treats, some of which—including Dulce de Leche—were quickly discontinued. But in 2010, they introduced a serious product for sweet-and-salty palates: Pretzel M&Ms, a round little pretzel ball covered in that iconic candy coating.

9. GREEN TEA HERSHEY KISSES

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Anyone who has ever spent time in Asia probably noticed some truly unique flavors of your favorite chocolate candies—including Green Tea Hershey Kisses. According to Hershey’s Chocolate World, a 13,000 square-foot haven of sweetness on the Las Vegas Strip, “In this Kiss, milk chocolate surrounds a rich green tea–flavored center for an uncommon and mild Hershey’s experience.”

10. NEW YORK CHEESECAKE KISSES

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You don’t have to hop on a plane to enjoy a one-of-a-kind Kiss. As a tribute to the Big Apple, The Hershey Company once concocted this milk chocolate treat with just a hint of rich cheesecake in the center.

11. BUTTERED POPCORN MIKE AND IKES

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Much like Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly beans, Buttered Popcorn Mike and Ikes are pretty much a love ’em or hate ’em proposition. For those who are intrigued by the idea of a chewy piece of buttery candy, we’ve got good news: After more than a decade of extinction, the brand resurrected the buttery candy in 2016.

12. CHERRY COLA MIKE AND IKES

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Joining their old-timey friends, Cherry Cola Mike and Ikes also made their way back to store shelves last year, after first being introduced as a limited-time flavor in 2003.

13. THANKSGIVING GUMBALLS

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The holiday season is just around the corner, which means delicious turkey dinners, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie for all. But if you’re trying to watch your caloric intake, it might be worth seeing if you can find a tin of Thanksgiving Gumballs—and yes, they’re exactly what they sound like. Dubbing itself “a three-course meal in every tin,” the gumballs came in three flavors: turkey, cranberry, and pumpkin pie.

14. CHOCOLATE SKITTLES

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Skittles haven't gone too far outside of the box—or the bag, as it were—since making their fruity debut in 1974. The brand has dabbled in subtle variations here and there; in 1989 alone, Tropical, Wild Berry, and Tart-N-Tangy Skittles all hit the market. But the company strayed too far from its consumer base in 2007, when it unleashed Chocolate Skittles on the world. The feedback was not pretty.

15. KEY LIME PIE TWIZZLERS

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If you think the world of licorice amounts to just two choices—black or red—think again. Earlier this year, Hershey debuted a whole new twist on its beloved Twizzlers with a Key Lime Pie flavored variety, as well as an Orange Cream Pop.

16. FRESH COLA MENTOS

Quinn Dombrowski, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Besides being known for their cheesy 1990s commercials, Mentos candies are equally famous for what happens when you drop a few into a bottle of Diet Coke. (Spoiler alert: It explodes, as MythBusters once confirmed.) Now you can replicate that experiment in your belly—without the geyser, hopefully—with these Fresh Cola Mentos.

17. SWEDISH FISH JELLY BEANS

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It’s not so much the flavor that’s unusual with these sweet candies—it’s the delivery method. Everyone knows that Swedish Fish are those addictive fish-shaped gummy candies. To experience that same flavor, but in a slightly crunchier jelly bean form, just feels, well, un-Swedish Fish-like.

18. JAVA TWIX

Craige Moore, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

First introduced in 2007, Java Twix was released as a limited-edition candy—and it didn’t stick around for long. Though why, we can’t figure out. With its delicious mix of coffee and caramel, topped on a chocolate wafer, then covered in milk chocolate, the candy bar quickly gained a huge following. Its disappearance from shelves left a void in the sweet tooth of many angry candy and caffeine addicts—including, fittingly, the Candy Addict blog.

19. SAKÉ KIT KATS

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When it comes to variety, Kit Kat is the candy to beat. Its popularity around the world means that it comes in dozens of flavors, not all of them readily available to American shoppers. In Asia, in particular, Kit Kats have been known to take on all sorts of amazing flavors—including saké. Introduced in 2016, Saké Kit Kats are white chocolate candy bars layered with saké powder.

20. BAKED SWEET POTATO KIT KATS

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The packaging for these recommends that you bake them for the real effect.

21. SWEET PURPLE POTATO KIT KATS

Nope, we’re not done with Kit Kats yet! These sweet, bright lavender snacks, which are available in Japan, are filled with purple sweet potato flavor and might just be too pretty to eat.

22. WASABI KIT KATS

Fabricio Zuardi, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Ok, one more Kit Kat—and yes, that says “wasabi.” According to reviews of the light green candy, they’re not actually spicy, but they do manage to retain some subtle notes of wasabi (which is probably for the best).

23. PICKLE CANDY CANES

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If you're sick of all those peppermint candy canes, you might be tempted to try one that tastes like a pickle. Maybe?

24. BACON CANDY CANES

anokarina, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Not into peppermint or pickles? Then maybe a bacon candy cane is the way to celebrate this holiday season. Believe it or not, Amazon has a whole slew of questionable candy cane flavors to choose from: wasabi, gravy, and coffee are a few others.

25. CANDY STRING CHEESE

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Yes, we said this list was about strange flavors of your favorite candies. But what if one of your favorite foods was infused with candy flavor for no good reason? That’s just what a Wisconsin-based company called Cow Candy did earlier this year, when it created a line of fruit-flavored Monterey Jack cheese sticks, designed to be a sweet alternative to sugary treats.

13 Things You Didn't Know About Sam Goody

Joe Wolf, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0
Joe Wolf, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Sam Goody dominated the music marketplace for decades, but after several buyouts and mergers, the once-ubiquitous retailer dwindled to a few storefronts before finally fading into mall history.

1. SAM GOODY WAS A REAL GUY.

The man who founded the ubiquitous mall chain was born Samuel Gutowitz on February 25, 1904. Friends and family dubbed him “Goody” when he was just a child; according to the The New York Times, Gutowitz eventually made the moniker his legal name.

2. INSPIRATION STRUCK AFTER GOODY ACQUIRED RECORDS FOR A CUSTOMER.

Though Goody had entrepreneurial ambitions from a young age, he wasn’t always in the music business. One of his first ventures was a toy and novelty store in lower Manhattan. In 1938, a customer stopped into his shop looking for old records of Enrico Caruso, Alma Gluck, and Paul Reimers. Goody was perplexed—“I thought [records] went out with the dodo birds,” he said—but promised to deliver for his customer. Goody recalled a stack of old 78-rpm disks in the basement of his apartment building in Washington Heights, so he went home and offered his landlord a can of beer in exchange for the pile of junk. (Over the years, Goody also said the exchange cost him three cigars.) After cleaning the records, Goody resold them for a whopping $25—and realized he was in the wrong business.

3. IN THE EARLY YEARS, SAM GOODY RAN PLENTY OF OFFBEAT PROMOTIONS.

When long-play records first hit the market, Goody courted customers by giving complementary turntables to anyone who spent more than $25. He ended up giving away 40,000 of the new-fangled devices—but in spite of the incredible cost to his company, Goody considered the promotion a success. “That meant 40,000 new customers,” he said.

Not all of his promotions were music-related. Goody once purchased 400,000 silver dollars and gave them to customers who spent $15. When the promotion proved successful, he repeated it with half-dollars, buying 400,000 JFK 50-cent pieces to give to customers spending $10. Though the gimmick worked, Goody later had some regrets about the promo. “I should have kept the silver dollars and given away the business,” he said. “When the silver price jumped like never before, I could have gotten $10 million for my $500,000 purchase.”

4. HIS FLAGSHIP STORE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR 7 PERCENT OF U.S. RECORD SALES.

The unique promotions clearly worked. Goody’s flagship store on West 49th Street was constantly deluged with customers—up to 4000 a day. In 1955, business was booming to the point that the flagship location sold 7 percent of the 33 1/3-rpm disks in the entire nation, with a gross income of close to $4 million.

5. SAM GOODY PRICES WERE SO LOW THAT THEY “ROCKED” THE COMPETITION.

Not all of Goody’s promotions were gimmicks. He also managed to undercut his competition: One 1962 advertisement offered three LPs for $7.99 compared to a $13 price tag, or $4.49 per record, at Goody's competitors (in today's money, that would be a savings of $45 dollars, or $15 per LP). When Goody took an ad out in the Western edition of The New York Times advertising Bob Newhart albums for $1.89, his competitors were angry. “What does Goody pay for this product to be able to sell it for less than I can buy it?” one competitor complained to Billboard Music Week in 1962.

6. SAM GOODY SALESPEOPLE WERE INCREDIBLY KNOWLEDGEABLE.

To have a job at the Sam Goody flagship store, employees had to prove they possessed a vast knowledge of music. Being well-versed in top 40 hits wouldn’t cut it; Goody employees had encyclopedic knowledge of all things music, from opera to punk. And he paid them well to do it—according to one employee who worked there, even part-timers received medical insurance, sick pay, vacation pay, and retirement benefits.

7. GOODY SOLD OUT TO THE AMERICAN CAN COMPANY.

In 1978, Goody sold all of his stores to the American Can Company, which owned another mall-centric music store that was one of Goody’s biggest competitors: Musicland. It was under American Can leadership that Goody became a staple in shopping malls across the U.S., with store numbers ballooning to 250 nationally. Goody stayed on as a consultant with American Can for five years, earning an annual salary of just $35,000.

8. HE SOLD THE BUSINESS TO SAVE HIS FAMILY.

Sam Goody’s 26-store empire had a stellar reputation: Low prices, vast inventory, knowledgeable salespeople, $60 million in sales. So why did he cut the whole thing loose for just $5.5 million in 1978? According to Goody, he gave the company away “cheap” because of his sons, Howard and Barry. "They loved each other then and they still do," he later said. "But they competed with each other on everything and soon even the help was taking sides. I could only see them breaking it all apart. So I sold the company."

9. THE COMPANY FACED AN EARLY ANTI-PIRACY SUIT.

Music piracy wasn’t invented with Napster—illegal tapes flooded the market long before the internet made music sharing commonplace. In 1981, Sam Goody Inc. faced a lawsuit for dealing counterfeit cassette and eight-track tapes. The suit alleged that more than 100,000 illegal tapes had been sold at Sam Goody stores, resulting in lost revenue of more than $1 million for artists like Olivia Newton-John, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, and Paul Simon. In a plea agreement, the company pled no contest and was fined $10,000 for transporting counterfeit Grease soundtracks from Queens to Minnesota.

10. BEFORE AMERICAN IDOL, THERE WAS SAM GOODY’S “BANDEMONIUM” CONTEST.

Long before celebrity judges listened to local talent for reality TV purposes, Sam Goody tapped the unsigned band market for promotional purposes. For several years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Sam Goody held their "Bandemonium" contest, pitting acts against each other in a battle-of-the-bands-style competition. Winners included Bobby Llama and Darwin's Waiting Room.

11. IN 2000, SAM GOODY GOT SOLD AGAIN.

The American Can Company sold Musicland and Sam Goody to Best Buy for a cool $425 million in 2000. But the relationship didn’t last long. By 2006, the stores were sold to another competitor, Trans World Entertainment. Trans World eventually converted all of the Sam Goody locations into f.y.e. stores—except for one.

12. THE LAST SAM GOODY STORE CLOSED ON OCTOBER 31, 2012.

The last Sam Goody holdout, located in San Diego, shuttered its windows on Halloween 2012. According to a company exec, the single store remained partly because the giant neon signs bearing the company logo were simply not economical to replace in that particular location.

13. A "ROUGH TRADE" RECORD STORE WAS REBRANDED AS SAM GOODY IN 2015 FOR AN HBO PROJECT.

Your eyes didn't deceive you if you think you spotted a retro-looking Sam Goody store in Brooklyn in 2015. A British-based record store called Rough Trade agreed to allow a temporary redesign in order to accommodate the production of Vinyl, an HBO drama executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger.

30 Stores That Will Be Closed on Thanksgiving

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In recent years, the Black Friday craze has inched further and further into Thanksgiving. With stores opening as early as 5 p.m. on Thursday, festive dinners are being overshadowed by shopping frenzies. Retailers like to point the blame at consumers—according to the National Retail Federation, almost six in 10 Americans plan to shop Thanksgiving weekend—but opening a day early also runs the risk of cannibalizing sales that could have been made on Friday. Furthermore, with stores open the day before, the idea of going shopping in the middle of the night for already picked-over merchandise seems unnecessary.

But there are still stores that allow workers to stay home and enjoy the holiday. BestBlackFriday.com keeps a running (and updated) list of which companies will not be open on Thanksgiving. 

1. DSW

Photo of DSW Shoe store
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP, Getty Images

DSW employees can kick off their (well-priced) shoes and settle in for a holiday spent with friends and family; all of the chain's stores will be closed on Thanksgiving.

2. COSTCO

costco warehouse
iStock.com, slobo

The warehouse club has always had a reputation for being good to its employees. This Thanksgiving, Costco's 200,000-plus team members will have the opportunity to spend the holiday with their families (same goes for Christmas and New Year's Day).

3. NORDSTROM

Nordstrom storefront
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Nordstrom won't be open for business on Thanksgiving, but some employees will still be coming in for work. "[F]or the past 40+ years, some of our employees work on Thanksgiving eve and into the wee hours of the morning on Thanksgiving Day to decorate our stores with our holiday trim," a company spokesperson told ThinkProgress in 2014. "This is mostly a group of employees who have volunteered to be there and some bring along relatives or friends to join in. We'll also have a small team working in our Nordstrom.com Call Centers on Thanksgiving to serve the many customers who shop online that day."

4. DILLARD'S

A Dillard's storefront
iStock.com, Lee Walters

In 2014, a Dillard's spokesperson told ThinkProgress, "We choose to remain closed on Thanksgiving in longstanding tradition of honoring of our customers' and associates' time with family."

5. BJ'S WHOLESALE CLUB

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BJ’s Wholesale Club will be closed Thanksgiving. "Thanksgiving gives family and friends the chance to spend time together," Chris Baldwin, the company's president and CEO, said in a press release in late September. "We're committed to letting our team members enjoy the holiday, and we'll be ready bright and early for our biggest Black Friday ever."

6. BURLINGTON

A Burlington storefront
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"Thanksgiving is more than turkey. Or football. Or sleeping in," the company formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory wrote in a blog post. "It’s a time to reflect. To be thankful and appreciate what we have. To celebrate and share with family and friends near and far. That’s why Burlington stores are closed on Thanksgiving Day, so our customers and associates can enjoy time with their friends and family near and far."

7. REI

REI store in Seattle
Suzi Pratt, Getty Images for REI

REI will close all of its 151 stores for both Thanksgiving and Black Friday—yet all 12,000 of the retailer's employees, including hourly workers, will be paid to embrace the company's mission of getting people outdoors. "When you look at retail today, this playbook of promotions and consumerism, it's not working," REI chief executive Jerry Stritzke told Fortune. "It feels like it's lost momentum since then."

8. SUR LA TABLE

Scott Mindeaux via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Better make sure you've got all the Thanksgiving Day kitchen appliances and tools you need before the big day; kitchenware haven Sur La Table will be closed.

9. CRATE & BARREL

Crate & Barrel storefront
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Crate & Barrel employees will be staying home on Thanksgiving this year.

10. JO-ANN FABRICS AND CRAFTS

Jo-Ann Fabrics storefront
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Your arts and crafts projects will have to wait until Friday: Being closed on Thanksgiving has been a long-held tradition for Jo-Ann's stores.

11. T.J. MAXX

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"We feel so strongly about our employees spending Thanksgiving with their families," T.J. Maxx and Marshalls spokeswoman Doreen Thompson said in 2013. "And we don't anticipate this changing in the future."

12. MARSHALLS

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Marshalls, like T.J. Maxx, is owned by TJX and will therefore also be closed.

13. PIER 1 IMPORTS

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For the past couple of years, Pier 1 Imports has decided to stay closed for the holiday.

14. PUBLIX

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You'll have to buy your last-minute Thanksgiving fixings somewhere other than Publix.

15. SIERRA TRADING POST

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“As in past years, Sierra Trading Post stores will be closed on Thanksgiving so our associates can enjoy the holiday with family and friends,” a company spokesperson said.

16. BARNES & NOBLE

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Barnes & Noble wants its employees to enjoy the holiday with their families (then curl up with a good book).

17. SAM'S CLUB

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Sam's Club is closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

18. IKEA

IKEA storefront
iStock.com, TonyBaggett

If you’re craving Swedish meatballs instead of turkey (or, you know, you really need an ottoman), you’ll have to wait it out. Most IKEA locations in the U.S. will be closed on Thanksgiving so employees can spend time with family and friends.

19. THE HOME DEPOT

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The Home Depot stays closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

20. PATAGONIA

Patagonia store window
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In 2014, when asked why Patagonia stores close on Thanksgiving, a spokesperson responded, “It’s a holiday—we’re closed!”

21. STAPLES 

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It wasn't until 2015 that Staples decided to close its stores on Turkey Day. “We want our customers and associates to enjoy Thanksgiving their own way,” former company president Demos Parneros said in a press release at the time of the announcement.

22. PETSMART

PetSmart storefront
iStock.com, J. Michael Jones

Better make sure you've got enough catnip and dog treats to last the day; PetSmart will be closed.

23. LOWE'S

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The home improvement giant gives its employees Thanksgiving Day off to spend with their families. 

24. GUITAR CENTER

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The musical instrument retailer will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. The rocking will recommence on Friday morning.

25. MALL OF AMERICA

Mall of America sign out front
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By closing its doors on Thanksgiving, the Mall of America has brought a bit of excitement back to Black Friday. "The energy has been extremely high," director of public relations Dan Jasper told CNBC in 2016. "It's a completely different vibe than the past few years."

26. THE CONTAINER STORE

The Container Store storefront
iStock.com, Nicolas McComber

In 2015, The Container Store posted a statement on its blog explaining why they choose to close on Thanksgiving Day: "We love seeing all of our customers—don’t get us wrong! But we feel it’s more important for all of our employees to be able to spend this holiday with their families, in order to recharge and renew and come back to work ready to take on the holiday season!"

27. NEIMAN MARCUS

Neiman Marcus storefront
iStock.com, RiverNorthPhotography

The luxury department store will be closed for Thanksgiving. But if you're so inclined, you can order a Thanksgiving dinner for 12 from them for a cool $495.

28. PETCO

Petco storefront
iStock.com, Miosotis Jade
PETCO employees will be spending the holiday home with their own pets this year.

29. OUTDOOR RESEARCH

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In 2016, the outdoor apparel and gear company said it would be joining REI in its #OptOutside initiative, and will be closed on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday. They're repeating the newfound tradition again this year.

30. OFFICE DEPOT

Office Depot storefront
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"As we evaluated our store hours for this holiday and weighed the business and personal considerations, we decided it was best to provide our associates with the day off to spend time with family and friends by closing our retail stores on Thanksgiving Day," Office Depot's former COO Troy Rice said in a 2016 press release. They're doing the same this year as well.

This is just a fraction of the list of stores deciding to stay closed on Thanksgiving. Check out of the full list on BestBlackFriday.com

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