by Cori Hilsgen
Many retailers have decided to open earlier on Thanksgiving Day this year.
Some say it is what customers are wanting and asking for and others say it is because the shopping season is almost a week shorter than last year.
A few states have laws which prohibit them from opening before midnight on Thanksgiving Day, but for many states the opening time for “Black Friday” has begun to creep up earlier and earlier each year.
For serious shoppers, it might be a hard decision whether to spend the day going to church services, spending time with family and friends eating the traditional turkey meal and sitting down to watch a game of football or to head to the store for the advertised deals.
Retailers have previously opened the Friday after Thanksgiving at 6 a.m. for many years, but in recent years, some have begun opening at 5 a.m. and then 4 a.m. Most usually offer enticing sales to boost the start of the holiday shopping season.
In 2011, some retailers began opening at midnight on Thanksgiving Day. In 2012, others opened their doors to customers at 8 p.m.
This year, retailers such as Best Buy, Target Corp., Walmart and others are planning to open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. K-Mart plans to open their doors at 6 a.m. and some other stores plan to be open part of the day, close for a few hours and then reopen.
Some retailers are offering employees a chance to volunteer for shift times and are including incentives such as food and fun activities for those employees who are required to work during the holiday.
The Friday after Thanksgiving has been called “Black Friday” since it got its name in Philadelphia in the 1960’s, due to increased traffic congestion.
California and some other states observe it as a holiday for state government employees.
It is often considered the start of the Christmas shopping season and has been the busiest shopping day of the year for a number of years.
Extra security is often required for the crowds of shoppers that fight to get the best-priced deals on limited supplies of products.
During the rest of the year, many retailers operate at a financial loss until “Black Friday,” at which time they begin to earn a profit.
The Associate Press reported the National Retail Federation is expecting an increase of 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion in holiday sales from November to December.
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.