Black Friday in 2014 is taking over Thanksgiving, but experts say the longer hours and earlier start to the Christmas season sales does not necessarily bode well for stores, and in fact could point to the end of the Black Friday shopping tradition.
As the Inquisitr noted, Black Friday 2014 has crept well beyond Friday and into Thanksgiving itself. Macy’s announced that it would open at 6 p.m. on November 27, a time that had traditionally been reserved for football and turkey. Walmart’s doorbuster deals is also rumored to start at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
Others stores have jumped on the early Black Friday bandwagon in 2014. K-Mart will be opening at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving, while Best Buy will also open its doors at 6 p.m. that night. Belk is shooting even earlier, starting its Black Friday sales on the day before Thanksgiving.
Stores, including Macy’s, have said the earlier start times are simply in response to customer demand.
“Macy’s confirmed its 6 p.m. opening begrudgingly, almost apologetically, this week after a letter from company executives to employees was leaked to the media. A Macy’s spokesperson explained via statement to the (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune that the move was based on “significant, sustained customer interest,” and that last year’s Thanksgiving hours were supposedly a big hit with Macy’s workers. ‘We also heard last year from many associates who appreciated the opportunity to work on Thanksgiving so they could have time off on Black Friday.'”
But as the Time report goes on to note, the earlier start times do not necessarily mean more sales. Instead the early Black Friday 2014 shoppers are simply moving up their schedule, turning out on Thursday evening rather than early Friday.
Last year the Black Friday sales were down considerably, while many consumers signed petitions against stores that opened and forced employees to work on Thanksgiving.
“We are seeing the eventual extinction of Black Friday,” said Bill Tancer, head of global research for Experian Marketing Services.
The number of people going out on Black Friday 2014 is expected to shrink in 2014, as it has for the last five years. Experts believe that consumers are becoming more and more aware that the best sales are not necessarily on Black Friday, and that online sales will allow them to avoid the lines and stay at the table for Thanksgiving dinner.