Target and Toys R Us are joining the likes of Gap, J.C. Penny, and Walmart in the race to kick start the highly-profitable holiday shopping season.
U.S. retailers have typically waited until the Friday after Thanksgiving to make their end-of-the-year push, but stakes are high this year as U.S. retailers generally earn more than a third of their annual sales during the holidays, reported the Chicago Tribune.
Retailers are trying to get customers into their stores before the competition does, but they also report that customers have mentioned that they like shopping on Thanksgiving, reported the Chicago Tribune. "Customers repeatedly told us that they liked being able to do their Black Friday shopping after they had finished their turkey dinners, so they didn't have to spend all night outside in line and could sleep in on Friday," Troy Rice, executive vice president of stores and services at Toys R Us, told Reuters.
While some customers prefer shopping with their stuffing, USA Today's opinion poll from Tuesday shows that most customers are unhappy with the new, early shopping hours. "Stop making people work on Thanksgiving! Consumers and stores can wait until the next day. People should spend Thanksgiving enjoying time with their families and friends," said shopper Stephanie Demmler.