Black Friday is on the way and this week, many of the major retailers have released their Black Friday plans. The 35 percent of Americans who said they hate Black Friday, probably won’t be happy but for the largest retailers, Black Friday looks like business as usual.
According to a poll from BestBlackFriday.com, 54.69 percent of Americans do not agree with stores opening on Thanksgiving, but that hasn’t stopped the top retailers from sticking with the tradition established several years ago.
While many stores have gone against the trend in recent years, retailers including Target, Wal-Mart, Toys “R” Us, Kohl’s and Best Buy, announced plans to keep turkey day shopping alive.
Many stores have also extended the deals by offering more online shopping options — a move likely intended to meet the growing number of shoppers who are willing to brave Black Friday shopping online, but refuse to set foot in the stores. Most retailers are also offering week or month-long deals and discounts to spread shopping throughout the season.
Wal-Mart deals will start at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. On Thursday, the retailing giant trotted out a range of deals including a Samsung 50-inch Smart 4KTV for $398, a 60-inch Vizio HDTV for the same price, a range of popular toys, video games and consoles and a $99 iPhone 5s 16GB on Straight Talk Wireless.
For the third year in a row, Target opens at 6 p.m. with deals available in-store, as well as online. At Kohl’s, doors open at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day with doorbusters ranging from 40-inch TVs to game consoles. You can also earn Kohl’s cash on your purchases to use later in the shopping season.
This year, Macy’s decided to push its Thanksgiving Day opening up one hour to 5 p.m. The retailer joins Toys “R” Us which will open again at 5 p.m. and will provide express checkout for shoppers with four of fewer items to help improve the shopping experience. Best Buy has also announced at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day opening to feature deals on everything from laptop computers to camera kits and vacuums.
Many specialty retailers, some department stores and a few malls have decided to remain closed on Thanksgiving Day, reverting to the older tradition of early morning Friday openings.
While many retailers suggest they are staying closed on Thanksgiving in response to consumer backlash and the desire to give employees the holiday off, it is more likely there simply hasn’t been strong enough sales to justify opening a day early.
At least one store will continue its almost 150 year tradition of remaining closed on major holidays.
Von Maur, the family owned departments store founded in 1872 which now has three metro-area stores, has never been open on Thanksgiving. Stores close at 4 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving so employees can go home.
“We are a family owned company. We value that. We value family and traditions. We might lose some business from it but we are able to do so because we profitably run our business every other day of the year,” said Melanie Doran, store manager of Von Maur in Mall of Georgia, the newest location in the metro area.
Doran said she enjoys seeing other retailers make the choice to close on holidays.
“I think it is great for other retailers to close their doors earlier on the holidays and it is great they are seeing that they don’t have to sacrifice that for customer service. Our sole focus is customer service. We feel if we are able to keep our employees happy that spills over into customer satisfaction,” Doran said.
In addition to offering its well-known fee free store credit (no interest, late or annual fees), Von Maur also offers shoppers a holiday experience that includes holiday decorations, live music and complimentary gift wrapping for Von Maur purchases.