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Retailers opening their doors earlier than ever this holiday season

November 18, 2013

Hoping to battle back against customers who'd rather purchase products through online and mobile credit card processing pages, many brick-and-mortar retail outlets will be opening their doors to sell holiday products on Thanksgiving itself this year.

Hoping to battle back against customers who’d rather purchase products through online and mobile credit card processing pages, many brick-and-mortar retail outlets will be opening their doors to sell holiday products on Thanksgiving itself this year. 

Many major retailers, including Macy’s, Target, Kohl’s, and J.C. Penney, are planning to open on the evening of Thanksgiving this month, according to a recent report from the Sacramento Bee. Wal-Mart also announced they would be opening on the evening of Thanksgiving, as will Old Navy and KMart store outlets.

Many feel that these decisions are meant to combat the widespread consumer use of e-commerce and online payment processing terminals. However, some suggest that the trend is also the result of consumers choosing to purchase gifts and holiday products much earlier in the year than they had during previous winter seasons. Some even expect that many stores will be open throughout the whole day on Thanksgiving sometime in the near future.

“Retailers are opening earlier because it works,” Peter Schaug, a marketing and branding expert located in New York, told the Sacramento Bee. “If shoppers weren’t lining up at the doors on these early-opening dates, retailers would drop it like a hot potato. But the way people are filling the stores and looking to buy, I’m betting that (Thanksgiving Day) is going to be an all-day shopping day for most within a few years.”

Many consumers are finishing their winter shopping during November
Retail Federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis, speaking to the Sacramento Bee, noted that many younger shoppers are helping to drive the trend, and have helped to influence retailers to open their doors on the November holiday. 

“Many retailers have learned through direct feedback from Thanksgiving shoppers that they prefer to shop at night than to set the alarm and brave the cold on the morning of Black Friday,” Grannis told the news outlet. “Millennials seem especially interested in hitting the stores a day early: 36 percent of those between 18 and 34 shopped on Thanksgiving Day (last year), the highest of any age group.”

Her feelings are supported by the latest results from The NPD Group’s Holiday Shop-O-Meter. That index, which tracks the percentage of holiday shopping the average American consumer has completed, recently found that the average shopper has already made roughly eight percent of their holiday purchases – well before Thanksgiving

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