Is Black Friday Now Black Thursday?

November 16, 2012 | By | Comments (10)

Many major retailers have announced that they are opening their deal-filled doors on Thanksgiving Day and not waiting until 12 a.m. on Black Friday. This news has been met with both deal-seekers’ glee and traditionalists’ scorn (there’s even a petition from a Target employee). Here’s a sample schedule to prove that 8 p.m. is the new 12 a.m:

Target: Opening Thursday at 9 p.m.

Toys R Us: Opening at 8 p.m, Thanksgiving night.

Sears: Doors open 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving until 10 p.m. the next day. That’s right, the next day.

Gap: More than 1,000 stores in the Gap family (Old Navy, Banana Republic) will be open on Thanksgiving.

Kmart: The earliest but most staggered schedule: open from 6 a.m to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Re-opens from  8 p.m. until 3 a.m. And, finally, stores re-open two hours later on Friday morning, and stay open until 11 p.m.

But is this really what consumers want? According to Google search data, queries for “Black Friday deals” in 2012 began rising six weeks earlier than in 2011.

So, what do you think: Is early better? When should stores open for Black Friday sales? 

Photo: Oliver Schwarzwald


  1. Amanda

    I think stores should open 6am Friday for the “Black Friday” deals. Thanksgiving should be spent with families for those that want to spend time with their families. My husband works for a retailer that is opening at mid-night Thanksgiving Day, but he actually has to be at work by 10pm leaving him barely enough time to rest after spending time with our family. In my opinion, I believe all would be better served to have the entire Thanksgiving Day off. Retail employees are already worked to death during the holidays and should get Thanksgiving Day off to rest and spend with their families before the crazy hours and shopping starts.

    November 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm
  2. missskinnygenes

    I hate this so much. As both a retail employee AND someone who loves Thanksgiving, I think that the fact that we’re abandoning our Thanksgiving meals early to go shopping, of a ll things, is really sad, as well as kind of disgusting. Is this really what we’ve come to? Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays–and I honestly believe that we NEED a day to spend with family and focus on being thankful for what we have. We have a whole month for celebrating consumerism afterward…

    November 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm
  3. Jenn

    I absolutely hate that stores are opening on Thanksgiving. I thought it was bad last year when they opened at midnight, I’m apalled that they’re opening on the holiday this year! I love going shopping with my mom and sister on black friday, but on Thanksgiving I want to spend time relaxing with my family. This is something everyone should get to do, including those who work in these stores. It’s horrible that retailers are opening earlier, they need to have more respect for their employees and the holiday and wait to make money until after the holiday is over.

    November 18, 2012 at 1:09 am
  4. Chris Grant

    This is unacceptable. There is plenty of time to hit the stores over the holiday weekend without having to haul people away from family and a much needed day of rest before the retail craziness starts. Black Friday should start on Friday and at a decent hour, really if a store opens at 9 am will it kill anyone to wait an extra few hours to score that flat screen or the latest toy? Come on folks, what’s next stores open on Christmas Day so you can rush to exchange the gifts or buy more with the gift cards you got. Enough already!

    November 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm
  5. Rebecca

    I always considered Thanksgiving the most important tradition of this country. However, the retailers which are mostly owned by some huge companies but operate under different names, i.e Federated, have crossed the line of good taste and turned the “Season” into a mad, greed driven carnival of thoughtless shopping. The average consumer, fueled by advertisement and by the false belief that’s it’s the best buys of the year (wrong!) is a willing participant in this ugly carnival. The blunt lack of respect for a beautiful tradition and the retail employees is just one aspect of the moral decline of this great country. Pity.

    November 18, 2012 at 8:10 pm
  6. Skrupie

    I worked my way through college for a specially ski store in Colorado. The owners treated their employees like family and hosted a Thanksgiving brunch for those of us who did not have family in the area as a way to thank us for the hours we would put in during the holidays. The solution is for all of us to threaten to boycott all of these businesses that are infringing on family time during a national holiday and do our holiday and other shopping elsewhere for the remainder of the year. That will get their attention and put an end to this insanity.

    November 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm
  7. Skrupie

    Correction… the hours we put in leading up to the holidays. We had Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years off!

    November 18, 2012 at 10:51 pm
  8. Cindy

    Stores should be closed on Thursday for families to give thanks. It shouldn’t matter though when stores open. If consumers wouldn’t go, the stores would close. I don’t want to give someone my money bad enough to shop their hours.

    November 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm
  9. CDS

    Tell them with your money. If enough people don’t go, they won’t do it next year.

    November 20, 2012 at 7:37 am
  10. Carolyn

    Thanksgiving should be about family, not shopping. It is yet another sign of corporate greed and crass consumerism run amuck. How do we turn the tide? Certainly we can boycott Target and other stores that insist on being open on Thanksgiving. On the other hand stores used to be closed on Sundays too so people could have time for God and family. Not many people talk about that these days. However, I would argue that if we kept Sundays for God and family, we wouldn’t be talking about “Black Thursday”.

    Black Thursday is a symptom of a larger problem. We have lost our way. We need to rediscover the moral compass that will return order to American society. An excellent place to educate ourselves and begin the discussion on how to return our society to order can be found at Check it out. I highly recommend it. Our children’s future may well depend on where we go from here.

    November 22, 2012 at 8:15 am

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