Black Friday not dying, despite earlier store deals - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Black Friday not dying, despite earlier store deals

Many retailers including this Kmart store in North Huntsville are opening on Thanksgiving Day. Many retailers including this Kmart store in North Huntsville are opening on Thanksgiving Day.

Many retailers are just hours from opening their doors to shoppers looking for bargains. They are getting a jump on traditional Black Friday sales.

Despite stores opening up on Thanksgiving, David Berkowitz, a professor of marketing, said Black Friday is not dead. In fact, it remains the biggest shopping day of the year.

So why are stores such as Kmart opening up so early Thursday on a holiday? The answer, quite simply, is the internet.

Retailers are more price competitive than ever before because of online shopping. Internet sales have skyrocketed, while in-store sales remain stagnant. Plus, many big-box stores started their Black Friday deals early online this year.

The internet shopping trend is pushing retailers to open up on Thanksgiving to try to boost their in-store sales. There are two groups of people they specifically target with these extended hours.

"About 20% of the people are going to want to get out of the house because they are cooped up and just want to do something, so they will go out on Thursday. Many people don't have the luxury of having Thursday and Friday off so they will transfer some of that shopping from Friday to Thursday," said Berkowitz.

Does opening on the holiday equal bigger profits? Berkowitz says no.

"We see retail sales which are traditionally pent-up demand for Friday are now just being spread to Thursday. The actual increase is probably slight. There will be a little bit of a bump, but not very much," he said.

Every bump is a good one, as far as retailers seem to be concerned. Best Buy will open its doors at 6 p.m. Thursday with three waves of doorbusters lasting through Friday at closing time.

The frenzy starts even earlier at Toys R Us, where deals begin at 5 p.m. with bonus doorbusters Friday at 5 a.m.

Out of all the big-box stores, Kmart is opening perhaps the earliest and longest. Doors open at 6 a.m. Thursday and remain open for 41 straight hours.

Berkowitz said even though stores are opening up a day early, Friday will still be the bigger shopping day. As for better deals, he believes both days will have good bargains.

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