Local retailers prepare for Black Friday a day early

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Thanksgiving holiday isn’t stopping some eager shoppers from already marking their places in line to snag some Black Friday deals a day early.

Many say stores opening up for deals during Thanksgiving dinner are making Black Friday lose its luster.

Deals have been available for several days already on some retailer websites and many stores are pushing up their opening times. Every year, stores flip flop between opening earlier on Thanksgiving and others choosing to give the holiday back to employees.

Local consumer experts say regardless of when Black Friday starts, it’s a make-or-break time for business.

“For most every retailer in the country, it’s going to be Christmas so the more people you get through the door. It used to be if you were the only one open on Thanksgiving, you were going to get those people. And so that’s the game you play in retail,” said ECU Bureau of Business Research Director Jim Kleckley.

The National Retail Federation says nearly 74% of consumers plan to shop the day after Thanksgiving, yet only 21% plan to shop on Thanksgiving day. Compare that to a High Point University poll which found 78% of North Carolinians do not plan to shop on Black Friday and 84% plan to stay home Thanksgiving day.

“Everything’s competition. And not only the big boxes and the small businesses, but online. We’re seeing on an annual basis, more and more people are shopping online,” Kleckley said.

Wallet-Hub analysts say if a deal is not at least 40% off, don’t buy it.

Greenville stores including A.C. Moore, Barnes and Noble, Burlington, Lowes, Sam’s Club, and T.J. Maxx will be closed on Thanksgiving day. JC Penney opens at 3 p.m. Thursday. Best Buy opens Thanksgiving day at 5 p.m. Five Below, Kohl’s, Michael’s, Target and Walmart open Thursday at 6 p.m.

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