Make us your home page
Instagram

Black Friday's creep into Thanksgiving triggers new shopping tactics

Veteran Black Friday shoppers will need a new road map to chase down deals this season.

Thanks to the expanding Christmas shopping season, stores are flocking to stage their deep discount doorbuster sales earlier than ever.

Macy's, Kohl's, Target, Bealls and Best Buy pushed their opening bells back to 12:01 a.m. Black Friday. Toys "R" Us opens at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving to move an hour ahead of Wal-Mart, which has pushed many of its best deals back to a 10 p.m. opening and joins Kmart among those open turkey day.

"Our shoppers told us they would rather stay up late than get up early," explained Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchant at Walmart U.S.

The shuffle triggered a cascade of changed Black Friday sale times among rivals that local malls are still sorting out.

"The stores are all jockeying for position," said Gary Malfroid, manager of International Plaza, which opens at 8 a.m. but has a short but growing list of retailers opening at 6 a.m.

The maneuvering is particularly evident at the Shops at Wiregrass, an open-air center in Wesley Chapel where retailers have more freedom to open when they want than stores at an enclosed mall.

A half dozen stores will open at midnight. A few more at 3 a.m. Yet another group opens at 4 a.m. while more clusters open at 5, 5:30 and 6 a.m. before the rest of the center opens at 8 a.m.

"It's staggered openings all night," said Debbie Detweiler, Wiregrass marketing director. "It's still spreading."

"These new earlier openings reduce the need to drive across town for deals," said Dan de Grandpre, CEO of dealnews.com, one of several blogs to post many stores' Black Friday ads.

That may put a drag on Ellenton Premium Outlets, which helped start this "open at midnight and shop all night" business years ago. This year some stores there pushed opening back to 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night before the rest of the center opens at midnight.

Retailers think such shopping adventures create excitement, plus the lackluster economic recovery underscores the urgency to capture as much business as possible and as early as possible just in case the economy sours before Christmas.

"It's hand-to-hand combat already," said Ron Biore, chief executive of Brookstone. "The consumer is tired and frustrated by the slow recovery and government's inability to do much about it. Last Christmas consumers spent because they thought things were getting better. This time they're concerned things might go down again."

Life after Amazon

Like many big retailers that once relied on Amazon.com to run their Web presence, Target Corp. has had learning pains since taking over the operation.

Its site target.com has crashed six times since going live Aug. 23, reports Bloomberg News. That's about half of all the major outages experienced this year by the top 100 websites, according to AlertBot.

Not that special

One of food snobs' top buzz words — artisanal — has lost its meaning.

Once artisan meant handcrafted foods made in small batches from special ingredients. Now it's marketing shorthand for premium ingredients at a value price, says Hartman Group, a market research firm.

More than 800 products in grocery stores now call themselves "artisan" foods, according to DataMonitor. Further dilution stems from uses like Domino's Artisan Pizza, Wendy's Artisan Egg Sandwich and Subway's "sandwich artisans."

Hartman sees "heirloom" foods as the next overkill victim.

Mark Albright can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8252.

Black Friday's creep into Thanksgiving triggers new shopping tactics 11/14/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 14, 2011 10:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. ReliaQuest opens storefront in mock city of JA Biztown

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — ReliaQuest, a Tampa-based cybersecurity company, opened a "storefront" Wednesday at JA Biztown. The storefront is part of a mock city where students learn economic concepts and run businesses. About 20 real-life Tampa Bay companies sponsor storefronts that local students get to run for a day as part of a …

    ReliaQuest, a Tampa-based cybersecurity company, opened a "storefront" Wednesday at JA Biztown, a mock city where students learn to run businesses. | [MALENA CAROLLO, Times]
  2. Love My Dog owner promises to treat dogs like her own

    Business

    SOUTH TAMPA — Lots of folks daydream about quitting their jobs to play with dogs, but shortly after moving to Florida 15 years ago, Natalie Conner actually did it.

    Some happy customers at the grand opening of Love My Dog Pet Resort’s third location in South Tampa on Oct. 14.
  3. Family brings edible cookie dough to Collins Produce stand

    Business

    VALRICO — Like anybody with a sweet tooth, Scott Laviano has been known to sneak behind his wife, Rose, while she bakes cookies and steal one of the dough balls from the baking sheet before it hits the oven.

    Scott, Rose and Scottie Laviano have opened Eddie Bull’s Cookie Dough inside Valrico’s Collins Produce.
  4. Philanthropist Helen DeVos, wife of Orlando Magic owner and mother of Betsy, dies at 90

    Obituaries

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Helen J. DeVos, a philanthropist from western Michigan known for her support of children's health, Christian education and the arts, has died at age 90, her family said Thursday.

    Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos, left, waves to fans while watching court side with his wife, Helen, during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls in Orlando. The family of Helen DeVos said the philanthropist from western Michigan known for her support of children's health, Christian education and the arts has died. She was 90. Her family said she died Wednesday, Oct. 18, of complications from a stroke following a recent diagnosis of myeloid leukemia. [Associated Press]
  5. Former Jabil executive again found guilty for 2008 double murders

    Criminal

    Patrick Evans, the former Jabil executive charged with the deaths of his wife and her friend, was found guilty by a jury Wednesday night.

    Patrick Evans talks with Allison Miller, one of his three public defenders, before jury selection continues in his trial Wednesday 10/11/2017. Patrick Evans, a former Jabil executive charged with killing his estranged wife and her friend almost ten years ago, was back in court for a second trial after his original death sentence conviction was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court.