Despite outcry and even protests beforehand, it appears the strategy of opening as early as 10pm Thursday night worked for Black Friday retailers, meaning “Black Midnight” or even “Black Thursday” will likely become the norm. The Los Angeles Times reports that Toys R Us, Sears, and Target all reported longer lines than usual, and at least one mall also experienced significantly better traffic. Early estimates show sales increased 10% to 14%, the AP reports, and retail analysts agree sales are likely up from last year. “After seeing what I saw last night I can't imagine that this is going to be a one year only shot,” says one.
“Now that we're open at midnight, we're getting an entirely different customer,” Macy's Chief Executive triumphantly tells Reuters, referring to those under age 30—while the more traditional shoppers still came later. “People have had so many years of recession that they want to spend money and feel good about themselves,” says one retail expert. “And many people have set money aside and are paying off their credit cards more, so people can spend a little bit more than last year.” Even so, another Reuters article notes that because many of the shoppers were younger, the overall result may not be beneficial to retailers. Click for crazy pictures and videos from Black Friday. (Read more Black Midnight stories.)