Black Thursday is becoming the new Black Friday.PREVIOUSLY: "Shoppers Angry as Black Friday Sales Push Into Thanksgiving."
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation's largest retailer, will for the first time launch its holiday sale kickoff at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, joining Toys R Us Inc., Kmart and other chains that have already thrown their doors open while holiday turkeys are still warm.
Other big retailers — including Target Corp., Best Buy Co., Macy's Inc. and Kohl's Corp. — have decided for the first time to open at midnight.
Chain stores have been advancing their opening times for several years, but analysts say it has reached a tipping point this season, with Thursday night poised to upend Friday morning as the official holiday kickoff.
"It's no longer Black Friday, it's going to be Black Thanksgiving from here on out," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the NPD Group. "Retailers recognize the importance of being convenient, and one of those conveniences is opening earlier so people don't have to wait in line at 4 in the morning in the cold."
The trend in part reflects the tougher environment for brick-and-mortar retailers, who face increased competition from Internet sales that run on a 24-7 basis.
The late-night shopping hours also appeal to coveted younger customers, many of whom prefer to do a midnight shopping run Thanksgiving Day instead of having to leave their warm beds before dawn the day after.
"Young adults are the ones who really come out in force on Thanksgiving Day," said Kathy Grannis, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation. "They may have three hours free after dinner, and they want to get some shopping done and be home by midnight."
The earlier hours are a big help to Jacob Nieto, a 35-year-old stylist who scours the circulars on Thanksgiving to plan his shopping strategy. The Koreatown resident, who saved more than $1,000 last year on Black Friday, said waking up before dawn to shop is "just torture."
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
At Los Angeles Times, "Black Thursday is replacing Black Friday as more stores open on Thanksgiving":