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article imageRetailers start 'Black Friday' sales earlier this 2012 season

By Leigh Goessl     Nov 11, 2012 in Business
Reports are surfacing many retailers have intended to start their "Black Friday" sales earlier this year. While some stores have not made any formal announcements yet, ad leaks are showing the start times retailers are offering for Black Friday.
Despite some controversy stirred last year after many stores decided to open on Thanksgiving Day, that hasn't stopped many big name retailers from continuing the trend this year, opening their doors even earlier.
Walmart had announced earlier this week it intends to kick off its Black Friday sales at 8 p.m. (local time) Thanksgiving evening; this is two hours earlier than last year, reported Reuters. The retail giant plans three different major sales staggered out over every few hours, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Thursday, and another at 5 a.m. Friday.
Kmart, which has kept its doors open every Thanksgiving for over 20 years, intends to do so again this year. Sears, which did not open last year on Thanksgiving, like Walmart, intends to begin its Black Friday sales at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night.
While not formally announced, Target is scheduled to open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, according to leaked ads, noted PC World. Media reports indicate Toys 'R Us will also welcome shoppers at 9 p.m.
Best Buy and Kohl's are both expected to open at midnight. Many other retailers will probably also announce their intentions to open earlier in coming days.
A couple of decades ago Black Friday was a busy holiday shopping day, and a few stores would open extra early, typically somewhere between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. and offer some savings for a few hours. Over the years, the Black Friday craze has gotten bigger with openings being pushed earlier, until it has pushed into Thanksgiving. Some are even suggesting that Black Friday may even morph into "Black Friday Week".
Several retailers, including Walmart, are saying they are opening earlier in response to consumer demand.
Chances are many shoppers will line up out in the cold outside stores long before the 8 p.m. to midnight openings in order to get into the stores before discounted stock runs out. If history is any indicator, long lines are likely to occur, despite the fact, similar sales can be gotten at other times of the year, suggests the Wall Street Journal.
Update Nov. 12: It is being reported Toys 'R Us is opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.
What do you think of retailers opening their doors earlier for Black Friday sales?
More about black friday sales, Black friday, Walmart, Kmart, sears
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