Retailers Beginning Black Friday on Thursday This Year

Retailers Beginning Black Friday on Thursday This Year

The line between Thanksgiving Day feast and Black Friday shopping spree has blurred even further this year, with retailers that have traditionally been closed all of Thursday opening their doors early in the evening to lure holiday shoppers.

In Charlotte, SouthPark mall, Charlotte Premium Outlets, Concord Mills and Carolina Place malls will open at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Northlake Mall is opening at 8 p.m.

While retail executives say they are responding to the needs of customers, some shoppers have said they don’t want to see stores open on Thanksgiving Day, not to mention retail employees who now may have to choose between a family holiday and a job.

Research by the marketing and analysis firm LoyaltyOne, which surveyed 1,000 shoppers earlier this fall, shows Americans fall into three categories:

  • 50 percent say all-day shopping hours on Thanksgiving Day are a bad idea that detracts from the traditional celebration
  • 33 percent say stores being open all day Thanksgiving is a great idea that provides more time for holiday gift shopping
  • 17 percent can’t make up their mind.

Millennials (ages 18-34) were more enthusiastic about expanded shopping options. No less than 50 percent of consumers age 18-24 say all-day shopping on Thanksgiving is a great idea. That support dropped only slightly to 48 percent in the 25-34 year-old age group.

Several department store chains are leading the charge for earlier hours. Belk, Sears, Kohl’s and Macy’s will open at 6 p.m., and J.C. Penney and Best Buy said they would at 5 p.m.

LoyaltyOne found that opinion on early hours varied even by region. Forty percent of consumers in the South say all-day store hours on Thanksgiving is a great idea, compared with 32 percent in the West, 29 percent in the Midwest and 26 percent in the Northeast.

At the same time, several retailers are making a point to stay closed on Thanksgiving Day, including Costco; Barnes & Noble; Bed, Bath and Beyond; Crate & Barrel; the Home Depot; Lowe’s; Dillard’s; Nordstrom; Pier 1; Petco; TJ Maxx and others.

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