Black Friday is that time of the year in the US shopping calendar after Thanksgiving that sees thousands of shoppers flock retail outlets to take advantage of massive discounts that are offered for many items on sale. Its said Black Friday is the weekend that begins the Christmas shopping season in America.
Retails stores traditionally opened their doors on Friday after Thanksgiving but it seems with tough economic times and the pressure to increase sales, there has been a shift and more retail stores are beginning to open up their stores on Thanksgiving Thursday at around 8pm.
On October 14th Macy’s sent out a press release announcing that they will be opening up their nationwide stores at 8 p.m on Thanksgiving evening for the first time. The Cincinnati-based chain said they did this in response to interest from customers who prefer to start their shopping early.
Kohl’s Department Stores that operates 1,158 stores across the country announced on Monday 21st that their stores will be open for 28 hours straight – from 8 p.m Thursday, November 28 through midnight Friday nationwide.
J.C. Penney has also not been left behind among the big retailers opening business on Thanksgiving. They are doing so for the first time this year. Last year, companies that opened up on Thanksgiving night included Sears, Target, Toys R Us, Kmart and Walmart.
What have been the customer reactions to these changes? A visit to some of the retailers Facebook pages revealed interesting insights on what people thought Patti Simoes Burgess said, “I don’t like that they are going to make their employees work on Thanksgiving. Macy’s used to be my favorite store to go to for Black Friday when I lived in NY. Now I wouldn’t even consider shopping at one because of that. I boycott all stores on Thanksgiving that are open. Workers have a right to be with their families.”
Andrea Lindsey supported JCPenney’s move and said, “It is necessary, because at least in my area almost everyone else is doing the same thing, and in the retail world you have to be competitive.”
Greta Foose strongly disagreed with Kohl’s opening date saying, “The Stores have already commercialized the holidays enough without being open on Thanksgiving day. I will not be shopping with you.”
According to National Retail Federation, consumers will take a conservative approach to spending this holiday season. According to NRF’s holiday consumer spending survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average holiday shopper will spend $737.95 on gifts, décor, greeting cards and more, two percent less than the $752.24 they actually spent last year.