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Millions Flock to Stores on Thanksgiving for Black Friday

Bloomberg - Nov 23, 2012

Target Corp. (TGT) took some flak for opening stores on Thanksgiving because doing so would give employees less celebrating time with their families. Still, the earlier start attracted more parents and their kids.

“Earlier is more convenient to get out after the Thanksgiving dinners,” said Bryan Everett, senior vice president of Target stores. More families meant more purchases of clothes and home goods too as shoppers spent more time browsing than a year ago, he said.

Target pushed its openings to 9 p.m. from midnight last year as millions visited stores for the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. With consumers facing a sluggish economy and the threat of tax increases that may result if Washington doesn’t avert the so-called fiscal cliff, this weekend will serve as a barometer of what’s to come for retailers in the next five weeks. One early sign is that online sales rose 17 percent yesterday, according to IBM Benchmark.

To get shoppers to spend more than last year, retailers have continued to turn Black Friday, originally a one-day event after Thanksgiving, into a week’s worth of deals and discounts. A couple of years ago chains started opening at midnight and yesterday Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and Toys “R” Us Inc. pushed it to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Other chains began offering Black Friday deals online as early as last weekend.

Read Full Article from Bloomberg

- Posted: 2012-11-23 15:41:07

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