Move over Black Friday, there are sales happening earlier than you.
Area retailers say it’s a matter of responding to the customers’ requests for greater convenience.
Justin Tidwell, a manager at Target in Florence, said the decision to open at 9 Thursday night was the result of the public requesting it and other retailers moving toward a pre-Friday opening.
This is the first year the major retail outlet has opened on Thanksgiving. Tidwell said his store will use this year’s sales to determine next year’s opening time.
“We’re expecting it to be even bigger than Black Friday because people are already up at that hour and for many there’s not much else to do,” he said. “We’ll pretty much run the same specials that we’ll have on Friday. There will be a few items on sale Friday only, but for the most part it will be the same. And yes, we’re expecting the same kind of lines we have on Black Friday. In fact, being a new concept we’re thinking tonight could exceed Black Friday sales.”
Other retailers are planning Thanksgiving openings, too. Wal-Mart is opening at 8 p.m.
Not everyone is happy, however, about the retail movement toward shopping on Thanksgiving Day. Nationwide, a protest is developing, according to the Associated Press. Workers at some stores have threatened to strike, saying the holiday openings are disrupting their family time. Several online petitions have drawn hundreds of thousands of signatures protesting the move.
As for this year’s hot items, all things electronic are included in the mix.
According to Smarthouse Lifestyle Technology Guide, the items that are in a slump this year are plasma televisions, MP3 players, game consoles, DVD and Blu-ray recorders, portable media players and digital cameras.
With consumer electronics globally set for sluggish growth this year, Smarthouse reports that the bad news for retailers means good news for consumers as prices are more attractive this holiday season for the most wanted items like tablets, smartphones and LCD televisions. Although those items are on the rise in terms of sales, the high availability means more reasonable prices.
Locally, the hot items for retailers are basically a repeat of last year, with the exception of iPads. Large-screen LCD televisions, laptop computers and iPods are all part of what retailers say are making the most-wanted list this holiday season.