Black Friday 2011 Walmart Early Openings – Black Friday is already here and those Walmart early openings are moving to midnight or before to offer the same deals.
This year, shoppers can just stay up late as major retailers move their opening times to midnight and before.
Target, Macy’s, Best Buy and Kohl’s will all open at midnight, with Walmart and the Preferred Outlets at Tulare kicking things off at 10 p.m. Thursday.
“It’s not as though they necessarily want to be open those hours, as much as they feel they competitively have to,” said Phoenix-based retail consultant Jeff Green. “They’re all going after a reduced dollar amount. They’re trying to one-up their competitors.”
The earlier-than-ever openings have spawned a backlash, as retail employees complain about lost time with their families Thanksgiving Day. Online petitions have gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures in protest.
But plenty of people are excited for Black Friday deals, shopping for $9 blenders and $65 Justin Bieber fragrance gift sets this year. Up to 152 million people nationwide are expected to shop this weekend, compared to 138 million last year, according to the National Retail Federation.
Black Friday is expected to be the top-performing shopping day during the holiday season for sales and foot traffic this year, according to Chicago-based ShopperTrak research firm.
Retailers are aggressively wooing Black Friday shoppers, particularly this year when holiday sales are expected to rise 2.8%, significantly less than last year’s 5.2% increase, according to the NRF.
Although sales will be big throughout the season, retailers have mastered stocking just the right amount of merchandise, meaning they won’t desperately slash prices later in the season.
Friday shoppers want the earlier opening times, said Patty Rocha, general manager of the Tulare outlets. The outlet center has opened at midnight for the last four years and will open two hours earlier this year.