Over recent years, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving which marks the start of the holiday retail season, has become more popular than ever. Some stores in Los Angeles now open their doors before the sun even rises on Friday morning, or before it even sets on Thursday night. Many shoppers and industry retailers are now referring to Thanksgiving as “Black Thursday” or “Gray Thursday” as a result.
Which stores are opening for Black Friday deals the night before Black Friday officially commences? Macy’s has just announced that they will be offering all their Black Friday discounts to shoppers starting on 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. They aren’t alone either; competing store J.C. Penney will also be opening on Thanksgiving at 8 p.m. to offer their best deals to shoppers. Salaried retail employees will be clocking voluntary overtime, working clear through the night so the stores can stay open 25 hours, closing at 9:00 p.m. the next night. This represents a change from last year, when J.C. Penny didn’t offer Black Friday bargains until 6:00 a.m. on Friday morning.
Last year, a number of retail stores offered Black Friday discounts on Thursday, including Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Sears and Toys R Us. The trend toward earlier shopping has led some shoppers and retail analysts to wonder whether Black Friday will lose its significance in light of the change. The nature of Thanksgiving may also be changing, as in the past, many families would still be finishing up their Thanksgiving dinners at 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. and getting ready to sleep off all that turkey a few hours later, rather than bundling into the car to go on an overnight shopping expedition.
Not all department stores are interested in opening on Thursday night for Black Friday sales. For every company, it comes down to a cost-benefit analysis. Plus, not all department stores are interested in asking their employees to staff their stores over Thanksgiving or during the night. Chris DiTullio, Vice President of Marketing and Advertising at Jo-Ann Stores, stated that their company is still not convinced that opening Thursday night and keeping stores open overnight is worthwhile. “Out of respect for our Team Members and their families, we have chosen to remain closed on Thanksgiving,” he stated in an email according to an article on Cleveland.com.
Some shoppers in Los Angeles will choose to remain at home on Thanksgiving, while others will hit the department stores in search of the best Black Friday holiday bargains. Still others may do their holiday shopping online. Cyber Monday, like Black Friday, has been growing over recent years, and likewise no longer refers to a single day. Cyber Monday deals are available for a longer period. Despite the popularity of online shopping though, many deals are only available offline, and for many families, Black Friday represents a fun opportunity to reconnect and spend time together. That’s why Black Friday continues to grow and why it has become a bigger boon than ever to the Los Angeles economy.