Black Friday has evolved from a one-day sales bonanza to a week-long event. Several retailers are beginning sales on Thanksgiving, earning it the nickname Brown Thursday. Toys “R” Us, Walmart, Kmart and Sears, for example, are all starting their sales on Thursday. Macy’s and Kohl’s are among the stores opening before the turkey is even digested, on midnight Black Friday.
Sears and Amazon are among retailers effectively starting Black Friday sales on Monday. Not everyone is happy about the trend. Some of the companies in question aren’t considered employee friendly to begin with. By Target’s own admission, less than one-third of the employees working on Thanksgiving will receive any additional compensation. A petition on change.org hoping to make target reverse its decision has gathered more than 212,000 signatures.
The petitioners’ sentiment certainly has the holiday spirit, even if it doesn’t get the desired result. In a still sluggish economy, no store wants a competitor to beat them on the biggest sales day of the year. The only result likely to end Brown Thursday is empty parking lots Thanksgiving night. There’s little indication that’s going to happen.
The week-long arms race may also dilute Black Friday’s overall effectiveness. To apply the wisdom of “The Incredibles” villain Syndrome: If every Thanksgiving week sale is special, then none of them are. Brick-and-mortar stores make a big deal out of Black Friday to earn back foot traffic leaving for online shopping in alarming numbers. Online sellers have countered with the Cyber Monday sales day. At this point, savvy shoppers know the weeks before Christmas are littered with sales.
It’s understandable that some will decide a big discount on a TV isn’t worth camping out Thanksgiving night (or getting trampled).