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SALT LAKE CITY — Opening for Black Friday on Friday is almost the exception to the rule, now, as more stores announce earlier hours and deals starting days before.
Up to 140 million people plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. That number is slightly lower than last year, when 147 million planned to do so. Of the 140 million who plan to shop next weekend, 69.1 percent will do so on Friday, while 33 million people are estimated to shop on Thanksgiving day.
The earliest in-store openers among national retailers this year include Kmart and Walgreen Co. Kmart will open at 6 a.m. and Walgreen will open its doors at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving day. Wal-Mart’s sales will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday — two hours earlier than in previous years.
The super-store chain will be joined by other retailers, though. Macy’s, Target, Toys R Us, Best Buy, JC Penney, Kohl’s, Staples, Office Depot, Michael’s and Shopko are among the retailers opening on Thanksgiving evening between 6 and 8 p.m. Old Navy will open at 9 a.m. Thanksgiving day, closing for a few hours between 4 and 7 p.m., when the store will reopen to shoppers, according to its ads.
Deals start before many families will even buy their turkeys. Lowe’s, Amazon and Wal-Mart are among stores starting Black Friday promotions either in-store or online early.
“Half of retailers surveyed (51.1%) are planning to start their Thanksgiving weekend online promotions at least five days before the big weekend,” the NRF wrote. “Recognizing the growing trend among consumers to shop online on Thanksgiving Day, 53.5 percent say they will offer promotions specifically for that day.”
Wal-Mart, for example, will roll out its sales Nov. 22, according to CNBC. Amazon has started its deal of the day countdown to Black Friday. Members of Shop Your Way, a Sears and Holdings Corp. discount club, will be able to shop deals on the Sears and Kmart websites a week early, due to the holiday “falling later than previous years” according to a press release from the company.
Shop Your Way shoppers at Sears can leaf through more than 1,000 on-sale items during the week-long sale starting at 8 p.m., while Kmart shoppers will have to wait until Sunday, Nov. 24 at 1 a.m. to check out the 100 items on special, according to CNBC.