Midnight Thanksgiving Opening

November 18, 2011 by staff 

Midnight Thanksgiving Opening, Shopping on Black Friday? You may be too late. More and more retailers are jumping the gun and turning Thanksgiving evening into Late Black Thursday.

Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Disney Stores and Toys “R” Us are already planning to open at midnight or earlier instead of waiting for the 5 a.m. Friday stampede.

In Massachusetts, earlier start times ran smack into the state’s 17th-century Blue Laws that prohibit retailers from opening until midnight after Thanksgiving, The Boston Globe reports. Since a midnight start means workers had to be on the job earlier to get ready, it violated the law, so retailers in the Bay State retreated. Macy’s now plans a 12:30 a.m. start, Target will open at 1 a.m., and Walmart will unlock its doors at 4 a.m.
One Target employee in Omaha, Anthony Hardwick, started an online petition calling on the company to cancel its 11 p.m. Thursday opening to give workers more time to spend with their families on Thanksgiving.
So how big will shopping be this season? A holiday retail sales forecast of $465 billion for 2011 might sound like a whopper, but the National Retail Federation calls it “average” since it represents only a 2.8% increase over last year. On the other hand, it slightly outstrips the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 2.6%, the NRF says. To try to combat an “average” turnout, retailers are combining “strong promotions and lean inventory levels,” says NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

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