Earlier this year, the three giant retailers announced that for the first time, they would be opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to stay competitive during these tough economic times.
Shoppers have mixed feelings about the earlier start times, but most agree it’s bad for employees who would rather spend that time with their families.
Jessica Hoeppner of Mount Clemens, said retailers should have only willing employees working. “I think opening early is OK to employees who want to be working, but nobody should be forced to work on Thanksgiving,” she said.
Carly Haberek of Rochester Hills, said she goes Christmas shopping sporadically and doesn’t plan ahead for Black Friday deals. “Personally, I find it (retailers being open on Thanksgiving Day) strange,” she said. “Normally, holidays are reserved for family, so I can’t imagine heading out to shop.” Haberek said she hasn’t gone out for Black Friday in years. “I only made it to one store (in the past) and left immediately seeing how packed it was.”
Kmart announced it plans to remain open for 41 consecutive hours, beginning at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. This has caused quite a stir from critics and customers alike on social networking sites.
Jeff Drozd, of Shelby Township, said he thought it was all about the money for retailers who were opening on Thanksgiving. “And the fact that people were willing to go anytime to get the best deal,” he said. Drozd said he visited Walmart once on Black Friday. “I walked out instantly because I didn’t know it was going to be crazy like that,” he said.
E-commerce deals are starting much earlier too. U.S. retailers traditionally kick off online deals on the Monday after Thanksgiving known as “Cyber Monday,” when workers return to offices and shop online to make holiday purchases. But Walmart announced it is kicking off its online sales Friday, November 8th.
Trend monitoring firm eMarketer predicts e-commerce holiday sales to grow about 15.1% this year to $61.8 billion, up from $53.7 billion in the 2012 holiday season and $46.6 billion in the 2011 holiday season.
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