Black Friday store hours gobble into Thanksgiving

November 20, 2012

ANN ARBOR—What’s behind the move of turning Black Friday into Black Thursday Evening? Growing online sales and a need to grab market share in a crowded field, says Follett Carter, marketing lecturer at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

“I think you are going to see retail holiday creep, and that’s pressured by online sales,” Carter said. “The Amazons of the world, especially with services like Amazon Prime, have become more problematic for brick-and-mortar retailers. So how do they differentiate themselves? Having evening hours on Thanksgiving was a logical move.”

Despite some complaints, Carter doesn’t expect a great deal of consumer backlash for opening on Thanksgiving.

“If consumers want to go in Thursday evening instead of 5 a.m. on Friday, it probably doesn’t make that big of a difference,” he said. “If retailers were opening midday, then it might be a different story.”

Carter is available for interviews on holiday retailing. Contact Greta Guest at (734) 936-7821 to arrange.