Blog: Leonie BarrieBlack Friday begins on Thursday

Leonie Barrie | 23 November 2011

Next to the Saturday before Christmas, Black Friday - traditionally the day after Thanksgiving - ranks as the most important shopping day of the season. And a new survey from Deloitte suggests holiday shoppers won't let the side down this year, with 51% planning to be either online or in stores this weekend.

But this year, more than ever before, it seems retailers are leaving nothing to chance when it comes to persuading shoppers to part with their dollars. In an increasingly competitive holiday shopping season the traditional Black Friday pre-dawn openings are a thing of the past, as stores race to be the first to open their doors. Retailers including Best Buy, Kohl's, Macy's and Target will all be open at midnight for the first time, while Walmart plans to go one better by opening two hours earlier, at 10pm on Thanksgiving Day.

If Black Friday is seen as a good gauge of consumer sentiment, then what does this mean for the rest of the holiday season? Earlier openings, hefty markdowns and other promotional deals may lead to higher sales, but the resulting hit to profits suggests retailers may have little festive cheer to look forward to.


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