Walmart begins holiday sales at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day
The unofficial start of the Holiday season known as Black Friday began on Thanksgiving night when the consumer superstore Walmart ditched the traditional early Friday morning opening for a 10 p.m. start on Thursday the 24th. This marked the first time the seasonal deals began on Thanksgiving rather than the day after.
Consumer buzz for Black Friday 2011 had been building for over a month when ads for Walmart, Best Buy, and Target leaked in early November.
Walmart, which is based out of Bentonville, Ark., let its shoppers get the earliest deals when it started the savings at 10 p.m, followed by Best Buy,Target and Toys ‘R’ Us at midnight and numerous other stores like Radio Shack, Lowe’s and Office Max at 5 a.m.
Walmart was unavailable to comment on the new Black Friday store hours.
Target reacts to Walmart
Billy Hanlon is an Executive Team Leader at the River Hills Mall Target location, and he says that other stores are forced to react to the earlier Black Friday start.
“It enforces the fact that retail is all about competition. Prices, hours, products, etc. There are sacred days that should be left for the employees and Walmart is part of the trend taking those days away slowly.”
Target opened it doors at midnight, it’s earliest start ever.
“The reason for opening earlier is to meet the needs for more consumers.” Hanlon said, “So, they expect more business for consumers who are more apt to wait until midnight to go and shop than consumers sleeping for a few hours and going in at 4 a.m.”
Families to change plans, shop earlier
Erin Connelly and her mom Lisa, of Eagan MN. are no strangers to Black Friday. Lisa has been Black Friday shopping for over 10 years, and Erin joined her in the shopping tradition four years ago. They will eat their Thanksgiving dinner early and head out to get in line at Walmart at 8:30 p.m.
“It’s a little sad we can’t lay around all day anymore after our Thanksgiving feast,” Erin, 22 said. “But the best deals are on Black Friday and we plan to get most of our Christmas shopping done that day.”
The Connelly’s went to Walmart, Best Buy, and Target on Black Friday, and said they have never seen so many shoppers.
Lisa said, “Walmart was easily the craziest, people were everywhere and it took over two hours just to get through the check-out line.”
2011 Black Friday Figures
The Connelly’s were two of a record 226 million shoppers who went Black Friday shopping this year,according to the National Retail Federation, just one of the many retail records set in 2011. Other record figures include:
- 52.4 billion dollars in total sales
- The average consumer spent $398.62
- 24.4% of consumers were at stores at midnight, compared to 9.2% in 2010 and 3.3% in 2009
This year’s sales represented a 6% increase from 2010.