It seems that the Thanksgiving holiday is well on its way to becoming the new "Black Friday."
Retailers already are announcing their hours for Thanksgiving weekend, the traditional kick-off to the holiday shopping season, and the shift toward opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving is continuing.
Macy's will open most of its department stores on Thanksgiving night at 6 p.m., two hours earlier than last year's 8 p.m. Thanksgiving opening.
The stores at Arundel Mills also will open at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 27, but will close at 1 a.m. before reopening on the actual Black Friday at 6 a.m., the Hanover mall said today. Retailers among more than 200 at the mall include Best Buy, Coach Factory Store, The Disney Store Outlet, H&M, Michael Kors Outlet, New York & Company Outlet, Nike Factory store and SaksFifth Avenue OFF 5th, among others. Last year, the mall opened at 8 p.m. but stayed open all night.
UPDATE: At The Mall in Columbia, White Marsh Mall and Towson Town Center, some stores are choosing to open from 6 p.m. to midnight on Thanksgiving, while others will be open from midnight to 6 a.m. on Black Friday. But the shopping centers won't open mall-wide until 6 a.m. on Black Friday. Department stores at the malls will set their own hours.
Macy's issued a statement today saying it's opening earlier in response to the customer-driven trend toward early shopping for Black Friday.
"Macy's aims to accommodate customers who count on us to be there when they are ready to shop," Macy's said. "In response to the significant, sustained customer interest in last year's opening on Thanksgiving, both at Macy's and at many other retailers, we will be opening our full-line department stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day."
Macy's added that its employees volunteer to work that day. Some workers prefer to work Thanksgiving and have time off on Black Friday. Those who work an opening Thanksgiving shift will be given incentive pay.
"Our people are able to make their own decisions about how they contribute to our most important and busiest weekend of the year," the retailer's statement said. "In just a few days, the large majority of the shifts have already been filled voluntarily."
More shoppers will wait until Thanksgiving weekend to start their holiday shopping this year compared to last year, according to a survey released today by The NPD Group.
"Consumers are anticipating the Thanksgiving weekend door-buster deals and other savings incentives," Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for NPD, said in a statement. "As a result of their proven interest in special sales and deals, retailers last year began to open on Thanksgiving Day, with more stores jumping on this new tradition this year."