Retailers Roll Black Friday Forward to Thanksgiving Openings

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Black Friday used to be synonymous with the start of the holiday shopping season, when hopeful shoppers would wait on lines during the wee hours of the morning to score the best deals.

The term – coined to indicate retailer’s profits – is becoming obsolete as more and more stores open up on Thanksgiving evening.

With 147 million people expected to shop this weekend, according to the National Retail Federation, retailers are taking nothing for granted when it comes to luring shoppers into stores – even if it means interrupting turkey dinners for a chance to offer some of the lowest prices of the season.

We put together a quick roundup of the doorbusters and store hours for the major retailers on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

First up, Wal-Mart, which will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving (compared with 9 p.m. last year) and will release its doorbusters in three waves.

At 8 p.m., shoppers will find deals on games and toys such as the Nintendo Wii for $89 and Xbox 360 for $149, as well as various video games for a little as $10 each. Two hours later, expect to see more tech deals, including the iPad 2 priced at $399 with a $75 Wal-Mart gift card, along with a 32-inch LCD television for $148 and a $38 Blu-ray player, to name a few. And for those who yearn for the traditional early morning shopping hours, at 5 a.m. on Black Friday, Wal-Mart will offer deals on Christmas trees, furniture and vacuums.

As for Target, the store is opening up at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, with a Nook e-reader for $49, DVDs for $10 and a free $60 Target gift card when you buy any iPad. At 4 a.m. on Black Friday, Target’s doorbusters include $89.99 for a Canon digital camera bundle and LeapFrog software for $15.

Sears opens at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving with deals on appliances and electronics, including a 50-inch LCD television for $288. Sears reopens on Black Friday at 4 a.m. with deals on power tools, more appliances and clothing. In fact, on Sunday the retailer allowed members of its rewards program access to various doorbuster deals online before they hit the stores.

Kmart boasts a “triple doorbuster” special beginning on Thanksgiving from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and again from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Black Friday and finally from 5 a.m. until 11 a.m., also on Black Friday.

Macy’s opens at midnight on Black Friday with specials on cosmetics, bedding, suitcases and glassware.

For the “late” risers on Black Friday, JC Penney opens at 6 a.m. with boots for $25, coats for $30 and scarves for $5.

If you hope to score some deals this weekend, keep in mind the limited quantities on doorbuster deals. If the store runs out of stock on an item, though, chances are you’ll see that item back on sale; there’s still one month of holiday shopping after Black Friday – and that means more opportunities for retailers to lure you in with sales.

Gamm is the founder of the personal finance website HelpSaveMyDollars.com. He has appeared on NBC’s TODAY, MSNBC and CNN. Follow Scott on Facebook and Twitter.

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