November 27, 2008

Retailers push Black Friday to wee hours

U.S. retailers are stretching Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, to kick start holiday shopping, an industry expert said.

Black Friday is everything to retailers, said America's Research Group Chairman Britt Beemer, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The entire future's on the line, Beemer said.

Retailer Disney Store said it would open about half its 230 U.S. and Canadian locations at midnight on Nov. 27. Gap Inc. said it would open 80 stores on Thanksgiving day, twice the number from a year ago. And Bed, Bath and Beyond Inc. is also rewarding shoppers who get an early start, offering 20 percent off for shoppers who check out between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Friday.

Kohl's Corp. said it would be open for business at 4 a.m., offering sales on toys and some apparel until 1 p.m. Friday. Best Buy Co. and Toys R Us are also opening early, unlocking doors at 5 a.m.

We recognize the economy is challenging and there is less to go around this season, Kohl's spokeswoman Vicki Shamion said. We're positioning ourselves to gain market share by offering tremendous deals and more frequent values.