In the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois, the parking lot of a Wal Mart shop was full about 30 minutes before Thanksgiving deals began at 6 p.m., including $199 iPad minis.
In NYC, there were 500 people in line by the time a Target shop in the East Harlem neighborhood opened at 6 p.m.
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And 200 individuals ran in at the Toys R Us in New York ‘s Times Square when it opened at 5 p.m.
Mary Smalls, 40, was outside attempting to get all her shopping done on Thanksgiving because she needed to avoid heading out in the day following the vacation that is called Black Friday.
“I will make an effort to avoid the crowds,” said Smalls, who intends to spend $300 to $400 on presents this year.
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Thanksgiving shopping has come quite a distance. Just a couple of years back when a couple of shops began opened late in the vacation, the move was met with opposition from workers and shoppers who considered the day ought to not be profane.
But more than dozen leading retailers opened at some point on Thanksgiving. And this year, at least half of them — including Target, Macy’s, Staples and J.C. Penney — opened earlier in the evening on a holiday.
The Thanksgiving launches are just one manner retailers want to compete for Americans’ vacation dollars. Used to be that Black Friday was when they had concentrated their sales promotions. But increasingly, they have been pushing on those promotions earlier on Friday — and eventually into the vacation itself — to capture deal-hungry shoppers’ focus.
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Bill Martin, the co founder of ShopperTrak, which monitors data at 70,000 shops internationally, is anticipating a sales increase of 3 percent to 5 percent to $2.57 billion to $2.62 billion on Thanksgiving. The amount of this past year grew twofold from the year before.
The National Retail Federation anticipates 25.6 million shoppers to make the most of the Thanksgiving launches, down somewhat from last year.
Kathy Grannis, a spokeswoman in the retail commerce group, said that earlier promotions in the month and shoppers’ uncertainty about when they are able to receive the best deals are variables that could result in fewer shoppers coming out in the vacation.
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However, Thanksgiving is beginning to take a bite out of Black Friday company. Really, sales fell 13.2 percent to $9.74 billion on Black Friday last year. Analysts said Thanksgiving sales were in part accountable for the fall.
And Gerald Storch, who runs a retail consultancy said shops get more of their share of revenues for the four-day holiday weekend than many others,.
“That is the reason why they keep doing it,” he said. “You must be first.”