PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Not long ago Black Friday was the kick-off to Christmas holiday shopping with a crush of people as stores opened at dawn.
Then some stores started to open on Thanksgiving.
Now even that’s not enough.
“It seems as though our shoppers are starting a lot earlier,” says Shelly Yugar of the Mall at Robinson.
“I remember from last year that whole week of Thanksgiving we saw a lot of shoppers that were really doing all of their Christmas shopping Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,” she added.
Last year, Thanksgiving was early, Nov. 22, with 32 days from Black Friday until Christmas.
This year, Thanksgiving is much later on Nov. 28, with only 26 shopping days.
“I think it significantly makes a difference,” Point Park University business professor Elaine Luther told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.
With six fewer days after turkey to shop, Luther says retailers are worried this could mean lost sales.
“That’s 10 percent shorter. That’s a big deal. What retailers need to do is see how they can counteract those numbers,” added Luther.
Which explains why Walmart — weeks earlier than normal — is offering one-third to one-half off certain televisions, tablets and 300 products purchased online.
Their goal: get consumers to spend early — long before Black Friday.
Even Santa is jumping the calendar.
With Santa arriving at the Mall at Robinson this Friday and Light Up Night still weeks away, it’s a sure sign that Black Friday is not as important as it once was.
Retailers want you in their stores right now.
But some consumers see no reason for the rush.
“We shop all the time, so it really doesn’t matter. People will be out in the stores,” noted Kara Baer of Moon.
While others still love the fun of Black Friday.
“It’s one night of shopping,” said Holly Christner of the South Side. “I get it all done one night. We start around 11. We finish up around 7 a.m., and I’m done for the year.”