Extra long holiday shopping season to kick off on Thanksgiving night
With 32 days and five weekends, the calendar gifted retailers with the longest possible stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But many are pushing the limits by starting Black Friday sales Thursday night.
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Not all retailers are following the trend, however. J.C. Penney actually pushed its Black Friday opening two hours later this year, to 6 a.m. after its 4 a.m. opening last year wasn't successful.
Hobby Lobby stores open at 8 a.m., just an hour earlier than normal. A spokeswoman for Hobby Lobby said the store remains closed on Thanksgiving to allow employees to celebrate the holiday with their friends and family.
Even though the holiday shopping season is extra long this year with Thanksgiving, always the fourth Thursday in November, falling on Nov. 22, retailers had to start promotions that were cut short by the election, said Kathy Grannis, a National Retail Federation spokeswoman.
“National air space was expensive. It was hard to even get a spot,” Grannis explains. “And retailers recognize consumers weren't focused on holiday spending. They wanted to know who their president was first.”
Though it's likely there will be a lull in foot traffic in mid-December, Grannis said retailers will push with aggressive sales that final weekend before Christmas.
“This year, that extra Saturday and Sunday really does mean big business for retailers,” she said.
Albano, the Toys R Us spokeswoman, said the retailer will have deals and discounts every day before Christmas. “Black Friday is the kickoff,” Albano said. “But every day leading up to Christmas is important to us.”
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