Black Friday becoming Black Thursday?

Retailers trying to get the edge on Black Friday sales are looking to open their stores early on Thursday. Four retailers have already shifted their hours and are planning to open on Thanksgiving. Toys R’ Us, Sears and Walmart will be starting their Black Friday deals at 8pm on Thursday and Target will be opening its stores at 9pm.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the four stores shifted their hours after hearing feedback from their customers. While many customers are excited about the idea of more time for Black Friday shopping, many employees are angry that they will have to work through Thanksgiving.

During the 2011 Black Friday many stores shifted their hours to open at mid-night, which required workers to come in early on Thanksgiving to stock shelves and build Black Friday displays. Now with the earlier opening time, many workers will have to work the whole Thanksgiving holiday to account for the shift in hours.

While the changing hours may be good for consumers, Kimberly Palmer of US News, states that these hours may be the only way to get consumers in their stores. An increasing number of consumers are going online and are shopping well before Black Friday. These numbers indicate that Black Friday is losing importance in the eyes of consumers who are finding deals earlier and choosing not to avoid the crowds.

Even so many consumers are still planning to brave the crowds to find the best Black Friday deals. Some retailers are already sending out teasers to entice customers into their stores and will be rolling out deals during timed intervals throughout the day. The best deals so far seem to be the usual variety of toys, televisions, computers, and gaming consoles. However, a report from CBS News indicated that there are somethings that consumers should wait on including: “must-have” toys, the new Microsoft tablet, Apple’s iPad mini, and digital cameras since all of these items are expected to drop drastically after the Christmas season.

Regardless of how you feel about Black Thursday, the deals are on. Many retailers will have to wait to see the after holiday revenues are in to determine whether opening a day early is beneficial to their sales.

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