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Black Friday sales start earlier on Thanksgiving

9:10 PM, Nov 12, 2012   |    comments
Black Friday
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Oliver St. John, USA TODAY

Retailers this year will open for Black Friday sales early enough to make shoppers choose between hot deals and hot apple pie after Thanksgiving dinner.

From Toys R Us to Target to Walmart, retailers are opening as early as 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.

Toys R Us announced Monday that its Black Friday will begin on Nov. 22 when doors open at 8 p.m, an hour earlier than last year.

To entice shoppers to line up even earlier, the toy retailer will give the first 200 customers at each location a free "Great Big Goody Bag" full of stocking-stuffers up to $30 in value.

"You can have your dinner, then come to our store. We all know that everybody gets burned out on turkey and football," says Troy Rice, chief of store operations, who expects stores to have lines from 500 to more than 1,000 people by the time doors open.

Despite an increase in online shopping, Black Friday isn't going anywhere. About 51% of consumers plan to go holiday shopping Thanksgiving weekend, according to a study out Monday from consulting firm Bain.

Opening earlier every year:

Target. The discounter said Monday that doors will open earlier than ever at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, offering sales such as $199.99 Sony PS3 consoles and $49 Nook Simple Touch e-readers. From 4 a.m. to noon on the day after Thanksgiving, the retailer will give $10 gift cards to shoppers spending over $50 in some categories.

"Many prefer to shop following their family gatherings rather than in the very early hours of the morning," says Target spokeswoman Jenna Reck.

Walmart. Target's announcement follows Walmart's last week saying its Black Friday will start on Thursday at 8 p.m., two hours earlier than last year.

Sears. Consumers can start shopping at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving and keep on going until 10 p.m. the next day, says Sears spokesperson Brian Hanover.

"They drop their drumsticks, and they pick up doorbusters," he says. Members of Sears' ShopYourWay program can access Black Friday deals online starting on Sunday.

Kmart. The discounter will be open from 6 a.m to 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving, with a break for dinner until 8 p.m. after which stores are open until 3 a.m. Stores re-open two hours later on Friday morning, and stay open until 11 p.m. Kmart has opened on Thanksgiving since 1991.

Staples. The office supplier will give shoppers until 5 a.m. to digest their turkey dinners and start shopping its new inventory of big-screen TVs and video game consoles an hour earlier than last year. Those who arrive before noon on Friday can score savings over $200 on certain HP PCs with Windows 8. Additional deals will be offered all week starting on Sunday in store and online with free shipping to boot.

PetSmart. And pets won't be left out of the holiday excitement, either. Feline and canine Santa Clauses will be able to shop for their furry friends at PetSmart starting at 7 a.m on Friday, the retailer announced Tuesday.

Black Friday deals include $19.99 Sunbeam Gourmet Dog Treat Makers, and 50% off pet toys and doggy sweaters. Select online-only pet products will be 75% off starting on Monday. After all, 76% of pet owners give Fido or Fluffy presents for the holidays, according to PetSmart.

USA TODAY

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