NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy is the latest retailer to open up earlier on Thanksgiving Day this year. The Minneapolis-based electronics chain will open at 6 p.m. nationwide on Nov. 28, much earlier than last year's midnight openings.
Stores will remain open throughout the night and close at 10 p.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, Nov. 29.
"Last year customers clearly showed that they wanted to be out shopping much earlier on Thanksgiving," said Best Buy spokeswoman Amy von Walter in a statement. "Our plan this holiday is a direct result of that feedback and provides multiple opportunities for our customers to shop in-store and online, whether at 6 p.m., midnight or on Black Friday."
Traditionally, the Friday after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, is one of the biggest shopping days of the year as retailers open up in early morning hours and Americans gear up for the holiday season. But over the past several years retailers have pushed opening times earlier and earlier into Thanksgiving itself. This year, Toys R Us, Macy's, J.C. Penney, Kohl's and others have announced opening hours on Thanksgiving evening.
The retailers say it's what customers want, but they are also trying to grab as many dollars as they can during the key holiday season, which can account for anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent of annual revenue. Even as the U.S. job and housing markets improve, shoppers have scaled back because they are uncertain about the future.
There's also more pressure on retailers this year because the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is six days shorter than in 2012.
Overall, the National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, expects an increase of 3.9 percent in sales for the November-December period, up from 3.5 percent last year.