I can't believe it. I didn't think it was possible, but now they've managed to push the Christmas shopping season into Thanksgiving.
cnn.com said:NEW YORK (AP) -- Out of the dining room and into the stores; the traditional day of feasting has turned into a day of early holiday shopping for some.
A spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation says some retailers are trying to find a way to take advantage of the fact that "once dinner is over, many families are looking for some kind of entertainment."
One Rochester, New York-area woman -- out shopping for clothes today -- says she's did not intend to face the early "Black Friday" crowds like she did when she was younger.
For the first time, BJ's Wholesale Club and CompUSA have opened their doors on Thanksgiving, while online retailer Amazon.com offered special holiday discounts.
In the past, grocery retailers and 24-hour convenience stores like 7-Eleven Inc. were the only shopping options on Thanksgiving. Holiday gift shoppers turned to the Web or saved their breath for the next day, "Black Friday," which is considered the official kickoff to the shopping season. (Watch why shoppers will be spending less this year Video)
BJ's opened from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., while electronics retailer CompUSA Inc. opened from 9 p.m. to midnight, where state laws permit stores to be open on the holiday.
"People start kicking off their holiday shopping early," said BJ's spokeswoman Stephanie LaCroix, who expected good sales of consumer electronics such as LCD televisions, computers and iPods.
Almost 1,400 Kmart stores, owned by Sears Holdings Corp., were scheduled to be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., offering buy-one-get-one free deals on board games and a Polaroid digital camera for less than $100, among other deals, said spokeswoman Gail Lavielle.
Nichelle Thompson, 36, of Los Angeles and her 14-yer old son Justin arrived just before the opening of a Los Angeles Kmart to take advantage of a one-day sale and pick up a $54 combination DVD player and VCR.
Thompson said she decided to start her Thanksgiving with a trip to the store after seeing the player advertised in a newspaper ad. The machine is a family gift.
"Tomorrow they'll have a whole new ad. Now I have to go through and circle all the things that I want to buy tomorrow and send my husband out."
Wal-Mart, whose more than 2,000 24-hour supercenters were open on the holiday, said it planned to begin advertising eight "top secret" Black Friday deals on its Web site beginning on Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, 7-Eleven planned to offer gift cards for Apple's iTunes, Circuit City, Blockbuster, and Borders, as well as DVDs, toys, and other gift items.
As for online opportunities, Sears, Roebuck again allowed holiday shoppers to pay for Black Friday deals on its Web site on Thanksgiving, such as 20 percent off Kenmore appliances and 50 percent off certain Craftsman-branded tools. Customers can then pick up their purchases when stores open the following day, or have them shipped, said Lavielle.
Online retailer Amazon.com was also pushing for shoppers to get started a day early by holding an ongoing poll to select one steeply discounted gift item to be offered in limited supplies beginning on Thanksgiving day, on top of other deals.
The winner of the poll was Microsoft's Xbox 360 video game system, which was set to go on sale for $100 at 2 p.m. ET, beating out a Mongoose Domain Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike for $30.
"We're always open on Thanksgiving," noted spokesman Craig Berman.
"Online retailers are making Thanksgiving a huge priority, because they have no competition from stores," said Davis. "I think we're going to see that trend increasing."