The race to start the holiday shopping season earlier has taken another surprising turn as Kmart revealed yesterday that it will open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving, the earliest opening yet of any retail store for Black Friday.
While Kmart has opened at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day for the past three years, this is the first time it will keep stores open for a full 41 hours, all the way through 11 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29. Kmart will offer Black Friday deals all 41 hours as seasonal associates and volunteers staff the stores during the shopping marathon.
Last year, Kmart stores closed at 4 p.m., presumably to give shoppers and employees a break to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at home. The retailer re-opened its doors again for deal hunters at 8 p.m. that evening.
Kmart's sister company Sears (Nasdaq: SHLD) will also welcome shoppers on Thanksgiving Day. Sears stores will open at 8 p.m. on Thursday and remain open until 10 p.m. on Black Friday. Over 1,000 doorbusters are being offered at Sears through 1 p.m. Friday afternoon.
In recent years, Black Friday has slowly been impeding on the traditional Thursday Thanksgiving dinner at home with family. This year, the trend of earlier shopping hours is continuing, with Thanksgiving night becoming the standard time for big-box retailers to open. Macy's (NYSE: M) will for the first time open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night and will stay open until 10 p.m. on Black Friday. JCPenney (NYSE: JCP) will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving — 10 hours earlier than last year — and remain open until 9 p.m. Black Friday. Other Thursday store openings include Office Max (NYSE: OMX), Kohl's (NYSE: KSS) and Bon Ton, who will all welcome shoppers at 8 p.m.
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