Thursday, Jul 28, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Retail

Americans kick off 2-day holiday shopping marathon

  • Holiday-Shopping-36

    People shop at a Best Buy late in the evening on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Dunwoody, Ga. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-37

    DeKalb police Officer Q.S. Starnes, left, helps Best Buy manager Sammy Abuata wheel in a pallet of Xbox One game sets for a door-buster sale just before midnight on Thanksgiving Day in Dunwoody, Ga. All of the store's 120 employees were on hand to ring up items after the electronics retailer opened on Thanksgiving this year.

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-38

    Bargain-hunters line up for door-buster sales at a Best Buy store just before midnight on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Dunwoody, Ga. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving this year. The store opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving; the line was for particular sales items. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-39

    A shopper pays for her items at a cash register at a Target store in Colma, Calif., on Thanksgiving Day.

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-40

    People shop at a Target store in Colma, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving day this year. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-41

    Tommy Hilfiger employees Melody Beltran, right, and Carlos Padilla give away tote bags to shoppers at Citadel Outlets on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-42

    Just after midnight, Best Buy employee Christopher Gervais, right, hands back a credit card after he rang up a $499.99 Xbox One game set that is a doorbuster special at the electronics retailer on Black Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, in Dunwoody, Ga. All of the store's 120 employees were on hand to ring up items when the store opened for business on Thanksgiving Day. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-43

    A man reaches for a shirt while shopping at the Van Heusen store at Citadel Outlets on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-44

    Bargain hunters enter a Best Buy just before midnight on Thanksgiving Day for doorbuster sales, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Dunwoody, Ga. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-45

    A man pushes a child in shopping cart in the toy department at a Target store in Colma, Calif., on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving day this year. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-46

    Sabastian Valenzuela, left, and his older brother Alberto compare prices for iPad tablets at a Best Buy late in the evening on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Dunwoody, Ga. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-47

    Credit card machines were busy as bargain hunters at Best Buy make doorbuster purchases just after midnight on Black Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, in Dunwoody, Ga. All of the store's 120 employees were on hand to ring up Grey Thursday and Black Friday items when the store opened for business on Thanksgiving Day. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-48

    Cesar and Marie Cruz push their sons Sevier, 3, foreground, and Trinni, 8, in a shopping cart at a Target store in Colma, Calif., Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving day this year. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-49

    A woman walks past the Ann Taylor store at Citadel Outlets on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving day this year. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-50

    A man walks under sale signs at a Target Store in Colma, Calif., Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving day this year. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-51

    Marlene Ortiz, left, and Miche Luna shop at a Best Buy for a $399.99 HP computer late in the evening on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Dunwoody, Ga. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-52

    A man pushes two televisions in a shopping cart at a Target store in Colma, Calif., on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving day this year. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-53

    Best Buy bargain hunters swarm manager Ramon Estevez, right, as he hands out scarves and hats that will identify those eligible for specially priced door-buster sale items late in the evening on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Dunwoody, Ga. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-54

    Shoppers wait with their bags near the exit of the Macy's Herald Square store, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-55

    Peter Schultz helps stack a pallet of Xbox One game sets for a doorbuster sale at a Best Buy store just before midnight on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Dunwoody, Ga. All of the store's 120 employees were on hand to ring up items after the electronics retailer opened on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-56

    Louis Liu, left, and Chian Chow look at a Samsung Galaxy camera photo at a Best Buy late in the evening on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Dunwoody, Ga. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Holiday-Shopping-57

    Shoppers look at televisions at a Best Buy store late in the evening on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Dunwoody, Ga. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

Holiday-Shopping-37

DeKalb police Officer Q.S. Starnes, left, helps Best Buy manager Sammy Abuata wheel in a pallet of Xbox One game sets for a door-buster sale just before midnight on Thanksgiving Day in Dunwoody, Ga. All of the store's 120 employees were on hand to ring up items after the electronics retailer opened on Thanksgiving this year.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

The holiday shopping season started as a marathon, not a sprint.

More than a dozen major retailers from Target to Toys R Us opened for 24 hours or more on Thanksgiving Day through Black Friday, the traditional start to the holiday shopping period. As a result, crowds formed early and often throughout the two days.

About 15,000 people were waiting for the flagship Macy’s in New York City’s Herald Square when it opened at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Long checkout lines formed at the Target in Colma, Calif., on Black Friday morning. And at North Point Mall in Alpharetta, Ga., Jessica Astalos, 20, had already been shopping for six hours starting on Thanksgiving night as another wave of shoppers made their way into the mall around 5:30 a.m. on Black Friday.

“I like being around crowds of people all doing the same thing,” said Dalton Mason, 22, of Stockbridge, Ga.

RELATED ARTICLE: Black Friday shopping madness around the U.S.

The start of the holiday shopping season has transformed into a two-day event. For nearly a decade, Black Friday had been the official start to the busy buying binge sandwiched between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was named Black Friday because that was traditionally when retailers turned a profit, or moved out of the red and into the black.

But in the past few years, retailers have pushed opening times into Thanksgiving night. Some like Macy’s opened on Thanksgiving for the first time this year. Others like Gap Inc., which owns Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy, opened some stores earlier on Thanksgiving than the year before. And many pushed up the discounting that used to be reserved for Black Friday into early November.

The earlier openings and sales were met with some resistance. Some workers’ rights groups had planned protests on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday because they opposed having retail employees miss family meals at home. But as of Thursday afternoon, there weren’t reports of widespread protests.

Some shoppers even had said they would not venture out on Thanksgiving because they believe it’s a sacred holiday meant to spend with family and friends. And at least one who did venture out regretted the decision. By 5 a.m. today, Curtis Akins, 51, was sitting on a bench - looking slightly exhausted -- inside a mall in Atlanta’s northern suburbs as his wife looked for deals. “I think it’s going to end because it’s taking away from the traditional Thanksgiving,” he said of the Black Friday tradition.

But that sentiment didn’t stop others from taking advantage of the earlier openings and sales. “We like to shop this time of night ... We’re having a ball,” said Rosanne Scrom as she left the Target store in Clifton Park, N.Y., at 5 a.m. today.

Holiday-Shopping-39

A shopper pays for her items at a cash register at a Target store in Colma, Calif., on Thanksgiving Day.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

The reception to the double-day holiday shopping start has led some retail experts to question how much further Black Friday will creep into Thanksgiving. Some now even refer to the holiday as Black Thanksgiving or Gray Thursday. “Black Friday is now Gray Friday,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a retail consultancy.

It’s unclear whether or not the early openings will lead shoppers to spend more over the two days or simply spread sales between the two days. Last year, sales on Thanksgiving were $810 million last year, an increase of 55 percent from the previous year as more stores opened on the holiday, according to Chicago research firm ShopperTrak. But sales dropped 1.8 percent to $11.2 billion on Black Friday, though it still was the biggest shopping day last year.

Sales figures for this year’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday will trickle out in the next couple days, but some big chains already are proclaiming early today that the start to the holiday shopping season had gotten off to a successful start.

Most Wal-Mart stores are open 24 hours, but the world’s largest retailer started its holiday shopping sales events at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, two hours earlier than last year. Wal-Mart said that customers bought 2.8 million towels, two million TVs, 1.4 million tablets, 300,000 bicycles and 1.9 million dolls.

Rival Target, which opened at an hour earlier this year at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, also said that traffic starting in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving on Target.com and at its stores later in the day was “strong.”

Terry Lundgren, Macy’s CEO, said “so far, so good” referring to the overall holiday shopping season. The 15,000 people who showed up for the opening of the flagship store was the most ever, up from 11,000 last year.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “Clearly people are in the shopping mood.”

Click to comment

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2015 Toledo Blade

To Top

Fetching stories…