At this rate, shoppers hoping to get in on “Black Friday” deals will have to eat their turkey for lunch. Both Target and Toys R Us on Monday announced plans to open Thanksgiving evening.
In its earliest opening ever, Target said it will welcome bargain hunters at 8 p.m. Nov. 28, joining a veritable stampede of retailers, including Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Staples.
Target said most stores will stay open until 11 p.m. Friday and also will stay open for at least 14 hours on Christmas Eve and 15 hours the day after Christmas.
As for the employees running the holiday shift, Target said it “works closely with its team members to understand scheduling preferences” and pays such workers time and a half.
In an ultracompetitive holiday season that can account for 40 percent of a retailer’s annual revenue, some chains aren’t even waiting out Thanksgiving dinner.
Toys R Us said Monday that shoppers can come in starting at 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. the next day. Best Buy said last week that most of its stores will be operational at 6 p.m. on the holiday. Kmart’s 41-hour Black Friday marathon will start at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.
Target and Toys R Us are also taking cues from Walmart, which started offering Black Friday deals online in early November.
Target.com will host 15 online-only daily deals in the two weeks starting Nov. 24. Toys R Us rewards-club members can get exclusive access to some discounts Nov. 27. The toy retailer also said it will preview its Black Friday ad on Nov. 24 on Facebook.
And for the first time, Toys R Us customers can go online to shop most of the bargains just past midnight on Thanksgiving.
The announcements come as retailers increasingly sell more stuff online.
A new report from IBM analyzing the online transactions of more than 800 retailers in the U.S. showed digital sales up 16 percent in October and 11 percent in the first week of November, compared with the same periods in 2012.
In the first week of the month, online sales at department stores soared 110 percent year over year. In the same time frame, Pinterest users spent an average of $136.17, while Facebook users spent $54.88.
A separate study from digital coupon aggregator RetailMeNot found that 56 percent of Americans are shopping more online than they did five years ago. Nearly eight in 10 said they turn to the Web because it allows them to browse at more convenient times.