For the last few years, we have discussed how the Christmas holiday shopping season is starting earlier and earlier. In 2011, we noted how Wal-Mart was the first out of the gate to open on Thursday by swinging its doors open at 10pm on Thanksgiving night. Last year, Wal-Mart again led the way by dropping the opening time by 2 hours to 8pm.
As we also noted last year, Wal-Mart’s early start was not going unnoticed by other retailers: “The move is certainly not going to sit well with their competitors so look for other stores to match Wal-Mart’s earlier time.” And that is exactly what is happening. Today Macy’s announced that this year they will be opening at 8pm, just a few hours after its famous Thanksgiving Day parade ends. They are obviously not alone. Nearly all leading retail stores will open as soon as people have finished their turkey dinner.
While some consumers may be happy (as the early opening not only allows them to find bargains but may enable them to burn off some calories from their big dinner!), store employees are probably not supporting this decision. But their dislike of early openings may not go far. In fact, we will predict that next year stores will open even earlier.
Image by jerekeys