Black Friday is coming up soon but may not be around too much longer due to the introduction and extension of Thanksgiving sales.
A number of large retailers opened stores on Thanksgiving last year for the first time last year. And Macy’s says stores will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving this year, two hours earlier than last year.
Macy’s said in a statement that the move move was based on “significant, sustained customer interest,” and that last year’s Thanksgiving hours were supposedly a big hit with Macy’s workers.
“We also heard last year from many associates who appreciated the opportunity to work on Thanksgiving so they could have time off on Black Friday,” it said.
“It’s inevitable to see them open all day or even earlier than last year,” Joel Bines, managing director and co-leader of consulting firm AlixPartners’ retail practice, told the Wall Street Journal.
The move comes from desperation as Amazon and other avenues take away from retailers’ sales.
“The No. 1 topic of discussion [for retailers] is what to do to drive sales,” Bines said. “You’ll see retailers come up with all sorts of tactics. It’s going to be an extremely challenging holiday.”
John Challenger, chief executive of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, noted to CBS the increasing competition.
“We’re becoming a 24/7, 365-day-a-year business environment, and that’s what Amazon is all about,” he said. “Bricks-and-mortar retailers more and more are basically having to compete in that marketplace. In some ways we have little choice, and we’ll see more and more creep of Black Friday into Thanksgiving.”
Apart from Macy’s, Kohl’s, JC Penney, and Sears opened on Thanksgiving last year. These stores are expected to follow Macy’s lead and open at 6 p.m. this year, while other stores may join in on opening on Thanksgiving.
But that could spell the end of Black Friday. Mayne not this year, but soon.
That continues to be the view of some, starting last year when it was announced that stores would be opening on Thanksgiving.
“We are seeing the eventual extinction of Black Friday,” Bill Tancer, head of global research for Experian Marketing Services,” told Time.
A number of studies indicates that the number of consumers who go out and hit stores the Friday after Thanksgiving has been decreasing for years, and the move to shift sales to Thanksgiving isn’t going to help. In one way, Thanksgiving could become the new Black Friday, possibly with stores being open the entire day in the future.
Even if Black Friday remains, the extra sales on and around Thanksgiving are impacting December sales, said Johnson of Customer Growth. Stores risk cannibalizing their December sales.