Forget Black Midnight: Now It's Black Thursday

And analysts warn more stores will jump on the bandwagon
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2011 8:29 AM CST
Hundreds of shoppers wait outside the Toys'R'Us for the start of the Black Friday sales event on November 27, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) Black Friday became “Black Midnight” this year—but analysts say it’s actually “Black Thursday,” as many stores are planning to open on Thanksgiving itself. Walmart, Toys R Us, and Kmart are among the chains barely giving customers a chance to digest their turkey dinner before opening their doors. "It's no longer Black Friday, it's going to be Black Thanksgiving from here on out," one analyst tells the Los Angeles Times. A retail strategist says that if this year is a success, Black Thursday is sure to become the norm: "Once you let the cat out of the bag and open early, it's very hard to put it back in."

Retailers say customers—especially the younger ones every store hopes to draw—would rather stay up late than get up early to fight for deals. Another factor is the growing competition from 24/7 online sales. But employees aren’t happy—and some aren’t even earning holiday pay. While Target will offer holiday pay for Thursday shifts, Walmart and Macy’s will only pay normal overtime. And not all customers are happy, either: One dedicated Black Friday shopper says she’s sitting it out this year. "Do you really want to eat and then have to hustle and bustle to the store right after?" she says. "That's really ridiculous."

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