PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –Thanksgiving is traditionally a day of family, food and football.
But now retail stores want you to get a head start on Friday shopping, too.
This year, a number of well-known retailers are offering Black Friday prices on products sold online Thursday.
It’s a trend that could alter what you do on Thanksgiving Day.
If you’re not one for lining up in the wee hours of the morning or fighting for a place to park at the mall, well, here’s an alternative: Black Friday shopping online on Thanksgiving Day.
“We’re going into more online, absolutely, and that means we’re going to be shopping on Thanksgiving,” says Prof. Paige Beal of Point Park University’s School of Business.
More retailers than ever — even those closed on Thanksgiving — are offering the same Black Friday deals to those who shop online on Thursday.
“It’s awesome. That’s what I’ll probably be doing — checking it out online, getting stuff online for my family because it’s a lot cheaper, too.” says Heather Hugo of Bellevue.
Prof. Beal told KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano that retailers know that many consumers go online to research holiday prices but don’t always buy.
“That’s a huge red flag, so what they’re looking to do is to convert that online traffic, actually get people to stay there and make their purchases there,” notes Beal.
Stores like Walmart, Target, Macy’s, BestBuy, Kohl’s and JCPenney are among many offering attractive pricing and some online shoppers like it.
“I’m just going to be sitting at home watching football anyways, so any way that I can save some money, yeah,” says Bill Blum of Bethel Park.
Blum’s wife Kaela says she like to avoid Black Friday bedlam.
“That’s actually probably very enticing to me so we don’t have to fight the crowds,” she said.
But not everyone shops online.
“No I don’t. No I don’t at all,” says Jean Alexander of Carrick. “I don’t have the internet and a computer.”
And even those with computers are still hesitant.
“People stealing my credit cards and my numbers, so I’m afraid of that. So I won’t do it,” notes Linda Buzzelli of Carrick.
Prof. Beal says concerns about online fraud are legitimate, but most retailers have tried to limit the chance of theft.
So will you buy online on Thanksgiving Day?
Well, last year some $318 million was spent online on that day and it’s likely to be more this year because the sales cover more products and are better than ever.