Thanksgiving, a Lesson in Black Friday Creep

In Industry News, What's New by Jeff PrineLeave a Comment

SEARS HOLDINGS CORPORATION KMARTMinneapolis—Thanksgiving is getting greyer by the day. Now referred to as “Grey Thursday” ahead of Black Friday, Thanksgiving will be a busy for retailers both online and in-store.

In the latest announcement, Target Corp. said today it would be opening on Nov. 28 at 8 p.m., similar to Macy’s, JCPenney, Kohl’s etc. Target stores will remain open through Thanksgiving night and close at 11 p.m. on Black Friday.

According to what Kathee Tesija, executive vice president of merchandising at Target, told The Associated Press that she felt the 8 p.m. time was just right, based on the competitive landscape, and the sentiment among shoppers and its own store staff.

The goal is to allow customers to shop “however, whenever they want to shop,” Tesija said.

Doorbusters, Online Promotions Heat Up

To that end Target will be offering online deals Thanksgiving morning including mostly deals that will be available in the store as well as 15 online-only daily discounts for two weeks beginning Nov. 24.

Stage Stores Inc., the parent company to stores under the names Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage, announced earlier-than-ever store hours for Thanksgiving Day. After opening their stores for the first time on Thanksgiving Day last year, the retailer said “overwhelming response from shoppers” encouraged it to open two hours earlier this year at 6 p.m. through 1 a.m. with stores reopening Black Friday at 6 a.m.

Sears stores will be open at a similar scheduled: 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving remaining open until 10 p.m. on Black Friday.

At its sister store Kmart plans a 41-hours shopping marathon, beginning with doorbuster deals at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving running through 11 p.m. on Black Friday. Kmart has opened at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving since at least 2010, but has posted all-night shopping sprees until now.

With fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year—not to mention consumer surveys citing shoppers planning to cut back this year—retailers are stepping up their Black Friday plans. And as Nov. 28 approaches, retailers are likely to get more aggressive with their promotions, retail analysts predict.