It’s almost time for the busiest shopping day of the year. The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, has earned that honor for seven years running, and now businesses are trying to make bigger profits by opening even earlier. Several companies have announced they’ll start Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day.
Wal-Mart announced their stores will begin sales at 10pm on Thanksgiving.
“Our customers told us they would rather stay up late than get up early, so we’re going to hold special events on Thanksgiving and Black Friday,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, Chief Merchandising Officer of Walmart U.S.
And Walmart isn’t the first one opening that night, Toys “R” Us is opening at 9pm. Over at Target, stores are opening at midnight.
“We heard from our guests and they do want Target to be one of their first shoppings on Black Friday, so we responded so we can continue to please our guests,” said Donica Smith, Executive Team Leader of Guest Experience at Target.
Target expects their toys and electronics to be top sellers on Black Friday, pushing them into the Christmas retail season.
“We have some great planning out,” said Smith. “We just hope to this year open up at midnight, surpass last year, and have a very good start into the fourth quarter.”
While some local shoppers are ready for the sales, others are disappointed that Black Friday now seems to overshadow the holiday.
“My daughter who’s 19 really put it into perspective,” said Dan DeBoo, a Naperville resident. “She said ‘Dad, everyone’s forgotten about Thanksgiving!’ And I said, well let’s not let us forget about it. So we’ll probably spend the day at home.”
According to ShopperTrak, the world’s largest provider of retail foot traffic counting, Black Friday will have the most foot traffic of any shopping day this holiday season. For shoppers who want to get the deep discounts without all the people, the best days to hit stores will be the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday after Thanksgiving, but not all Naperville residents want to hit stores those days.
“I like the hustle and bustle,” said Janee Wieser. “I try not to have anything set in mind. I like to go out and get into the atmosphere and festivities more than finding a great deal.”
“I am very happy for the internet now,” said Stevenson Roberts, a Naperville resident.
Downtown Naperville Alliance Executive Director Katie Wood urges customers to avoid the draw of online shopping and support their local businesses instead.
“For the businesses to remain in our town, we need to support them,” said Wood. “So when you buy online, that’s helping the community or the distribution center where that resides, but not necessarily our businesses.”
Wood added that a draw of shopping in downtown Naperville is the mix of national favorites and local boutiques.
Black Friday shoppers at downtown Naperville stores can also experience the city’s Hometown Holidays celebration.
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