Stores Opening Earlier Than Ever for Black Friday

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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Black friday may be in need of a name change.

For many stores, the day of shopping is moving from Friday to Thursday this year, so don't plan on napping off that tryptophan this year. If you're looking to score some Black Friday deals, you'll need start shopping as soon as you finish your turkey.

"This has been a tradition for a lot of families and a lot of groups that come together, and this is their special time," said Maize Road Walmart Manager Mike Kurtz.

But this year, traditions may have to change as a number of stores are opening at eight o' clock, Thanksgiving night.

"The company decided to really push it up a little bit, go after the competition and make it where it's more successful for our customers,"Kurtz said. "Not everybody wants to stay up until midnight but everyone's going to be up at eight."

Walmart initiated the early start time, and a number of other stores followed suit.

The National Retail Federation is expecting holiday sales to increase by 4.1% this year, and opening early is just one more way to get a competitive edge.

"I think that obviously any time that Walmart or any of the major retailers does something, everybody else is going to try to jump, whether it's the pricing side of it or the time side of it," Kurtz said.

But Cabela's is among the stores not buying into the black 'Thursday' trend, and aren't opening up until Friday at five a.m.

"I think that every retailer has to do what's best for them and their business," Cabela's Marketing Manager Jeanette Clement said. "However at Cabela's, we have found that that five a.m. is really our niche and additionally, we want to give Thanksgiving to our families."

Even though they aren't opening until nine hours after sales kick-off at other stores, the company feels that incentives will still draw a crowd.

"Everybody in that first six hundred is guaranteed a prize of some sort so given that and everything else, we're expecting a great turnout," Clement said.

With the opening times moving further and further into the Thanksgiving holiday, is there a limit to how far stores will go?

"You never know, we're going to keep pushing that envelope, there's no doubt about it," Kurtz said.

Websites like are petitioning the early opening times, saying that employees are losing their holiday time with their family.
Walmart responded by saying that they are offering special incentives for employees working that day, like providing a hot meal and giving discounts to employees who sacrifice their holiday.

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