The competition to see which store can open the earliest on “Black Friday” is essentially moot.

Why? As increasing numbers of real stores are opening on Thanksgiving, simply to keep up with online stores open for shopping every day.

MarketWatch reports Real reason stores are opening on Thanksgiving

It used to be the only consumption that took place on Thanksgiving happened around the dinner table. But retailers are changing the game. Target (TGT) announced Monday that it will open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Best Buy (BBY) announced Friday that it will open at 6 p.m., and Kmart (SHLD) announced last week that it will open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving and not close until 11 p.m. on Black Friday. They’re some of the dozens of other retailers, including Macy’s (M) and Walmart (WMT) that over the past few years have chosen to open on Thanksgiving. The message is clear: Turkey Day is now just another shopping day.

According to data from comScore, online spending on Thanksgiving Day increased 32% from 2011 to 2012 (and over the past five years has increased 132%). Meanwhile Black Friday online spending increased just 28% over last year and 96% over the past five years and Cyber Monday spending increased 17% over last year and 100% over five years. “Thanksgiving has become a marquee day for online shopping,” says Keith Mercier, associate partner with IBM’s Retail Center of Competence.

Cyber Monday

In case you re not familiar with the term Cyber Monday, Wikipedia explains:

Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday after Thanksgiving in the United States. The term “Cyber Monday” was created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online. The term made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a press release entitled “‘Cyber Monday Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year”.

Cyber Monday has become an international marketing term used by online retailers in Canada, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Chile, Colombia, and Japan.

Black Friday Becomes Black Thursday

Macy’s says the doors will be unlocked “in response to interest from customers who prefer to start their shopping early.” Target said the move to open its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving gives its shoppers “easier-than ever access to Black Friday doorbuster deals.”

More Temporary Part-Time Jobs

As Black Friday morphs into Black Thursday, one can only wonder where the silliness stops. In the meantime, expanded store hours means more seasonal, low-wage, part-time jobs, inflating the monthly jobs reports.


Mike “Mish” Shedlock