Stores Try to Augment Black Friday Sales…on Thanksgiving

For decades, Black Friday has been the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. But this year, Thanksgiving may steal some of the sales spotlight.

Brad Fugate at Relish

Photo: Arianna Prothero

Relish co-owner Brad Fugate works at the store's front desk in downtown Bloomington. Most small retailers like Relish will remain closed on Thanksgiving, but big box stores may not.

For decades, Black Friday has been considered the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. But this year, Thanksgiving may steal some of the sales spotlight.

Many national retailers such as Old Navy, Sears, Toys “R” Us and Gander Mountain have decided to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. One will be able to find many of the same discounts as they would on Black Friday. Retailers such as Sears based their decision on the overwhelming response by the customers who liked all the savings that Black Friday has to offer.

However, America’s Research Group CEO Britt Beemer said that decision is purely out of greed.

“When you open up on Thursday, you’re basically trying to get as many people as you can in your store and you’re doing it at the expense of your employees,” he said.

Beemer thinks retailers will up their sales volume but ultimately believes it’s a big mistake because when consumers are given the choice to shop on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday, the majority will still choose Black Friday.

“There really is no choice. Thanksgiving is filled with football, food and family. Consumers will wait until after the holidays to get their shopping in.” Beemer said.

In fact, a recent survey showed only 11% of consumers said they would consider shopping on Thanksgiving Day.

Beemer said once retailers have decide to open their doors on Thanksgiving, they’ll have to continue doing so in the years to come.

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