Black Friday is one of the year’s busiest shopping days, but Thanksgiving may be stealing some of its thunder.
More stores will swing open their doors for business Thursday as retailers fret over shoppers watching their budgets and fewer shopping days between Black Friday and Christmas – 25 to be exact. That is the lowest number in a decade.
The situation has contributed to an unprecedented number of major retailers opening on Thanksgiving and keeping the cash registers humming through Black Friday.
Ruth Hood doesn’t like it.
I will not shop on Thanksgiving, said the 70-year-old Fort Wayne retiree, after shopping at Jefferson Pointe recently. It’s family day and it should be that way. I’m afraid that after a while, Thanksgiving will just be a day to shop.
Ray Meinerding, a 74-year-old retired maintenance worker, says he’d propose a boycott if he’d thought it would do any good.
The bottom line is that the stores wouldn’t be open if they weren’t sure that people were going to shop, the Fort Wayne man said. Some of it is our fault because we shouldn’t patronize them. They would get the message then.
Most stores at Glenbrook Square will open at 6 a.m. Friday, while stores at Jefferson Pointe will have staggered opening times, the earliest at noon Thanksgiving at the Painting Fun Spot.
Purdue University retail expert Richard Feinberg said Black Friday creep began about three years ago, and shows no signs of waning.
When Wal-Mart starts to do something, you have to pay attention, he said. It’s only going to get bigger.
That doesn’t mean workers have to like it.
Employees started an online petition to try to force Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group to change a decision to open its malls on Thanksgiving. More than 16,000 people have shown support, according to some reports.
High-end retailer Von Maur Department Store said last week it was sticking with its tradition to remain closed on Thanksgiving.
The company has remained closed on all major holidays for over 140 years and will not sacrifice this tradition for the sake of sales, the retailer said in a statement.
Von Maur will open its doors at 9 a.m. Black Friday.
The National Retail Federation expects the average holiday shopper to spend $737.95 on gifts, décor, greeting cards and more – 2 percent less than the $752.24 they actually spent last year.
Earlier shopping times, though, don’t mean brisker business, Feinberg said.
There’s a fixed pot of money out there, he said. Black Friday weekend accounts for 9 to 10 percent of the total holiday spending. Opening on Thanksgiving is a sign of desperation by retail to get a dollar before the other person gets it.