Walmart said last week it will start the holiday rush at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, its earliest Black Friday opening ever.
Today, Target said it plans to give shoppers earlier- than-ever access with a 9 p.m. Nov. 22 opening. Doorbuster specials will start at 4 a.m. Friday, Nov. 23, the mass discounter said.
"We heard from our guests that they look forward to kicking off their holiday shopping with deal-hunting on Thanksgiving night," Kathee Tesija, executive vice president of merchandising for Target, said in a statement. The 9 p.m. opening gives shoppers a "more convenient way to create an after-dinner shopping event that the entire family can enjoy."
Among Target's highlighted deals -- Apex 32 inch LCD TVs for $147, Nikon L310 digital cameras for $99.99, Nook Simple Touch e-readers for $49 and classic board games for $7. The 4 a.m. doorbuster deals include Samsung 50 inch LED HDTVs for $699.
The holiday shopping season traditionally kicks off the day after Thanksgiving, but retailers have competed with earlier and earlier morning hours that gave way last year to openings at midnight or even earlier. In 2011, Target opened at midnight on Thanksgiving, but Walmart got started at 10 p.m. and Toys 'R' Us opened at 9 p.m.
Retailers are extending hours and ramping up specials to entice less-than eager consumers, who are expected to reign in spending. The National Retail Federation predicts a 4.1 percent sales increase, which would be slower than 2011 growth of 5.6 percent.