Black Friday shopping starting on Thanksgiving
Black Friday pushing and shoving just got pushed and shoved back a full day.
Right after turkey dinner, Walmart, Kmart, Target, Sears and Toys R Us are all on the starting line to race for consumer's cash. The stores are opening between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thanksgiving evening.
Barely enough time to get the dinner dishes washed.
"People are going to be lining up before Thanksgiving, huh," said one man outside a discount store.
"It was horrible last year. I can't imagine it being any better this year, so I will not be here," said a female shopper. "Everything was sold out."
"I'll still be with my family. We'll still be celebrating Thanksgiving," said another shopper.
But Purdue University retail expert Professor Richard Feinberg says "It's all good for the consumer."
Feinberg studies trends in retailing. He says the move to 8 p.m. Thursday not only means earlier sale pricing for customers, it may mean safer shopping too.
"I try to do a lot of my shopping online to avoid crowds," one shopper said.
Walmart, bruised by some raucous Black Fridays when customers rushed the doors, is offering sale prices on items in the store at specific times, with guarantees they'll be available.
The scheduled "doorbusters" may help control crowds.
"That's definitely going to help more people to come to the store," a shopper said.
Another shopper said, "That's the major hassle. You come and they're out of stock, so if they have enough, maybe I could."
Even hard to convince Joy Lucas, who says she won't be out in the Gray Thursday or Black Friday crowds.
"It would be helpful, yes. I would come," she said.
"Now Black, sort of Gray Thursday into Black Friday, is a pep rally and you want to get people excited about shopping," Feinberg said.
It has stoked competition, like Target's promise to match competitors' lower prices. You just comparison price via your smartphone and show a customer service worker to get the lower price.
Kmart is also extending its layaway program to capture more sales.
"They want to capture every possible consumer dollar they can," Feinberg said.
A shopper told Eyewitness News she's ready for Gray Thursday, but "my husband doesn't like it."
He may like it if she brings home bargains. Some retail studies show the best buys are often had in November, with prices on some goods rising toward Christmas.
But do your research. You may find you get the same discount prices online as in the store.