Retailers are hustling to take advantage of high Black Friday sales numbers by opening earlier than ever.
Sears recently announced that it would be opening its doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. Macy's and Kohl's both debuted similar strategies last year, beginning their holiday sales at 8 p.m. the night before Black Thursday officially began. J.C. Penney is currently slated to be the earliest department store open, encouraging customers to come in as early as 5 p.m.
Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics Inc., told the Los Angeles Times that the early opening trend "is clearly siphoning sales out of Black Friday and the weekend in general. It's really become a battle of attrition among retailers to capture sales as soon as possible. Once budgets are spent, they are spent." He added, "I don't know why they don't get it over with and stay open all of Thanksgiving. It's going to be inevitable within the next two years."
Retailers are currently expecting a stronger holiday sales season than they've had in years, with the National Retail Federation forecasting that Americans will boost their holiday spending by 4.1 percent to a total of $617 billion in November and December.
Other companies are going the opposite direction from Macy's and J.C. Penney, instead trying to garner public favor and customer loyalty by allowing their employees to have Thanksgiving Day off of work. Costco, Nordstrom and Crate & Barrel have all announced that they will not be opened on the holiday. Some Americans have indeed expressed concern that commercial interests are taking over what has traditionally been viewed as a family holiday.
Whatever time your store is opening, make sure that you are operating with the right card processing software, to make your Black Friday experience go as smoothly as possible.