A number of major retailers, including Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Target have announced they will be open Thanksgiving day. Although most will not open until at least 6 PM, K-mart will open at 8 AM. This Thanksgiving will be the fist time Macy’s will be open on the holiday.
I am not at all surprised at this latest escalation in the effort to earn your Christmas shopping dollar since it is this period that accounts for most retailers’ profits (if they will have profits). From opening at midnight for Black Friday” we have seen successive rollbacks to when you can stampede into a store to swoop up a special bargain.
Although there has been a lot of negative press about this development, I don’t doubt that the stores have dome their homework and believe that it will be profitable. Folks will talk the talk, but they won’t walk the walk. In fact, Macy’s announced that it’s decision to open on Thanksgiving day is partially in response to customer requests.
Now I will admit that I too once participated in Black Friday since I appreciate a deal as much (and probably more than) anyone else. But I never participated in the midnight madness stampedes.
My approach was to leave town for Thanksgiving week. Typically, we went to Las Vegas since room rates were especially low on Sunday through Thanksgiving because most folks stayed home. We would fly back to Jacksonville on Thanksgiving to take advantage of low fares and lots of empty seats. Friday, we’d hit the St. Augustine outlet mall at a reasonable hour (about 9 AM) and then drive home at the end of the day.
Another favorite Thanksgiving destination was New Orleans. We’d drive to Biloxi and spend a night there so we could visit the casinos. Then spend a few days in “Nawlins” enjoying muffalettas and other fine cajun food before returning to Biloxi on Thanksgiving to dine at one of the casino buffets. Friday, we’d hit the outlet mall at Foley (Alabama) and often spend the night there before returning home Saturday.
Now, however, we tend to stay home during Thanksgiving. We don’t shop much any more and I’ve found that there are better deals after Thanksgiving and also online. When I needed a new computer “box” a few years ago, I watched the holiday ads. I had read that I could find better deals after Christmas and so I waited. Sure enough, Best Buy had a great clearance price on a computer that met my needs. I paid online and picked it up at the store.
I can shop online at anytime, don’t have to search for parking or fight any crowds inside and often there’s free shipping. So why shop in a “brick and mortar” store?
This year, there’s a special incentive for shopping online. Two of my credit cards are offering 5% cash back on all online purchases. That’s an additional discount on any special prices I find.
So on Thanksgiving and on Black Friday, I’ll let other folks run the gauntlet of shopping at a “real” store. I’ll relax at my computer with an espresso and let my mouse clicks do all the work.