LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Eager holiday shoppers who finish up Thanksgiving celebrations early will have more options this year as more retailers extend their hours on Thursday.
Despite vocal opposition to retailers opening on Thanksgiving night before the Black Friday rush, stores like Macy’s, Best Buy, Target and Toys R Us are all extending their holiday hours to satisfy bargain hunters.
Macy’s will open on Thanksgiving at 8p.m. for the first time ever “in response to interest from customers who prefer to start their shopping early,” according to a corporate statement.
Best Buy will open at 6 p.m.
Target stores will open at 8 p.m., an hour earlier than last year and four hours earlier than 2011, when its midnight opening was the earliest ever.
Shoppers who want to get a head start while everyone else is still eating dinner can head to Toys R Us, which opens at 5 p.m., three hours earlier than last year, four hours earlier than 2011 and five hours earlier than 2010, the first time it opened on Thanksgiving.
Kmart, which has been open on Thanksgiving for 22 consecutive years, will open at 6 a.m., the same time as last year. It will remain open until 11 p.m. Friday. It had closed from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. last Thanksgiving, reopened at 8 p.m. and stayed open until 3 a.m. on Black Friday.
Sears will again open at 8 p.m., as it did last year. The company “received an overwhelmingly positive response from members and customers who took advantage of shopping Black Friday deals early,” a statement said.
Wal-Mart, which has been the scene of violent stampedes in various locations on Black Friday in recent years, will have varying hours. The retailer will give customers who are in designated lines between 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m. the opportunity to buy selected products, including some big-screen televisions, at discounted prices, with the guarantee they will receive the product that night or before Christmas.
The major objection to stores opening on Thanksgiving is the disruption it causes in the lives of their employees, separating them from their families.
KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper spoke with a number of shoppers who expressed that sentiment.
“I think it’s horrible,” Lisa Guin said. “Thanksgiving is a day to spend with your family and it puts pressure.”
“Now people have to work when they could be spending time with their families, and I just think that’s really unfortunate,” Kelsey Dougherty said.
Raymond Franco, a store manager at Kmart, says employees working on Turkey Day volunteered to work and will be compensated for working on a holiday.
He added: “We’ve had a lot of feedback from our customers and they want us to be open as soon as possible.”
Macy’s began planning its holiday schedule early, giving workers time to review available shifts and to volunteer for the shifts they prefer, according to a statement.
Sears says they staff Thanksgiving weekend with seasonal associates and workers who volunteer.
Target also plans its holiday schedule early and also pays its hourly employees time-and-a-half to work on Thanksgiving, plus extra if they work overnight from Thanksgiving night to Black Friday morning.
Surveys indicate that a majority of those polled object to stores opening on Thanksgiving, but a significant minority plan to shop on Thanksgiving.
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