Attention Early Birds, Target to Open on Thanksgiving

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For those of you who want to get out shopping right after your turkey dinner, Target joins the retailers who will open on Thanksgiving.

If you’re an early Black Friday shopper, and by early I mean that you shop on Thanksgiving or what some people call “Gray Thursday,” this news will likely excite you: Target will open its doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Target is joining a list of retailers, including Macy’s, Sears, Belk and Kohl’s, opening at 6 p.m. on Turkey Day. Toys “R” Us is opening earlier, at 5 p.m. Wal-Mart hasn’t announced its Black Friday hours yet, but the retailer typically opens on Thanksgiving.

Soon after Target posted its holiday hours and Black Friday specials, angry consumers blasted the retailer on its blog and Facebook page with messages like this one from Royd Hanson:

Shame on you Target. … One more store I’ll make sure to cross off my list. In fact, I’m going to try to do ALL of my holiday shopping at REI.

Outdoor specialty chain REI recently announced it would be closed on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, what’s known as one of the biggest shopping days of the year in the United States. REI is paying its workers holiday pay for both days.

Other retailers bucking Christmas creep include Costco, Game-Stop, Half Price Books, Staples and H&M. They plan to keep their doors closed on Thanksgiving and open to shoppers on Black Friday.

According to a recent survey from RichRelevance, nearly 2 out of 3 consumers say they hate or dislike retailers being open on Thanksgiving.

And some retailers believe that opening on Thanksgiving simply spreads the sales out over several days instead of generating additional revenue.

Giving in to Christmas creep can be costly for retailers, both in overtime costs and employee morale, said Melody Wright, CEO of privately held upscale department store chain Von Maur, in an interview with The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“I don’t think they are netting a positive business result,” Wright said of competing retailers. She said it would be difficult for them to change course because, “they can’t unring that bell.”

I like to spend the holidays relaxing with my family, and I don’t like shopping in crowds, so Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping typically don’t appeal to me. If there’s a sale I really want to hit, I do it online.

Do you shop on Thanksgiving? Or do you avoid the crowds and shop online instead? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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