Nov. 14 - Black Friday, the shopping bonanza day after Thanksgiving, is more than a week away. But some retailers plan to open earlier than ever before. But will that give them the sales boost they hope for? Bobbi Rebell reports.
Retailers are ready- so ready they aren't going to wait until Friday to start Black Friday -they are starting on Thursday. Toys R US Wal-Mart and Target all getting a jump on Black Friday. And some retailers aren't even going to wait until after Thanksgiving dinner. Sears, K-Mart, Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy all will have some stores open Thursday. Clementine Martin Illanes of retail consulting firm Kurt Salmon says it's about mindshare: SOUNDBITE: CLEMENTINE MARTIN ILLANES, RETAIL STRATEGIST, KURT SALMON (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Getting that buzz as early as they can get it out there just starts to put the name of that retailer in customers' minds and they are thinking already about what could they be buying at that store." But some companies are holding out: including Best Buy, Macy's and Kohl's, they will actually wait until midnight on Black Friday. REPORTER BRIDGE: REUTERS REPORTER BOBBI REBELL (ENGLISH) SAYING: Why the early start? It comes down to money. Some retailers make more than a third of their annual sales in the holiday season. Retail sales are under pressure- they were down in October for the first time in 3 months. And the prospect of economic turmoil is another reason retailers may need to be more aggressive: Candace Corlett, President of WSL Strategic Retail: SOUNDBITE: CANDACE CORLETT, PRESIDENT, WSL STRATEGIC RETAIL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think this fiscal cliff is now going to exacerbate the fears that were embedded during the election the fears around the economy during the election are only going to be exacerbated as more and more we hear about the cliff and shoppers will look at that credit card and turn it over 2 or 3 times before they swipe it when they do their holiday shopping." But do consumers really want Black Friday on Thursday? Close to one third think the Black Friday sales start too early according to CouponCabin. SOUNDBITE: CANDACE CORLETT, PRESIDENT, WSL STRATEGIC RETAIL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I wouldn't be surprised if we do see Black Friday sales starting to tick down because it is diluted. People only have so much to spend. We know we are still in a very cautious shopper mindset when it comes to spending. But if you start buying the week before Thanksgiving then you don't need those toys and electronics that you already bought before so it's going to dilute Black Friday sales." And don't forget Cyber Monday- sales hit a record last year- over $1.2 billion according to comScore.