Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Retailers Back off Thanksgiving Hours

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Retailers Back off Thanksgiving Hours

Article excerpt

WHAT'S IN STORE

It's going to be another battle of the stuffings this Thanksgiving.

And no, I don't mean choosing between a classic and a cornbread recipe.

It's the choice between stuffing your gut and stuffing your shopping bag.

Just like last year, it's going to get as heated as the oven where your turkey is roasting.

We're just 37 days away from what's traditionally considered the largest shopping weekend of the year, and retailers are steadily announcing what time they're starting the party.

The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, has long been considered the kickoff to the holiday shopping season, but during the past several years, store hours and sales have crept closer to Thanksgiving dinner time.

The change has left some families dashing out the door before dessert or skipping dinner all together. The move also condemns many retail workers to a holiday away from their families.

Kmart won the Scrooge award again last year when it opened its doors at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving, and JCPenney left shoppers just enough time for an early dinner before it opened at 3 p.m. A strong collection of retailers opened around 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., while players like Staples bucked the trend and waited until Black Friday to welcome shoppers.

The Staples route seems to be a little more in vogue this year.

This seems to be the first year that most retailers aren't trying to one-up their opening hours from last year, even though Macy's did announce this week that they'll open an hour earlier than last year's 6 p.m. start time.

Just as retailers have moved more toward being open on Thanksgiving in the past decade, now they're seemingly heading in the opposite direction.

The Mall of America, the nation's largest retail hub, made headlines earlier this month when it announced it was carving out a little more time for families and staying closed on Thanksgiving. …

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