There was a time when holiday shopping waited to start until the Friday after Thanksgiving. Black Friday. But not anymore.
Early Thursday morning WSBT found people already in line at Best Buy in Mishawaka, even though the deals there don’t start until 6 p.m.
K-Mart opened at 6 a.m. Wal-Mart and Meijer are both open 24 hours but aren’t offering specials until Thursday night.
But some people aren’t buying into those bargains.
“Thanksgiving is supposed to be about family and your friends and hanging out and having good food,” said Mara Warner.
The true meaning of the holiday is the main reason she and her family refuse to shop just because stores are open, she added.
“Everything’s commercialized now. It’s not what it’s supposed to be. I’ve said several times that family value’s gone down the drain because of commercialization and greed,” Warner said.
She’s not alone.
More than 57,000 people pledged on Facebook to “Say No to Shopping on Thanksgiving.”
But the National Retail Federation estimated nearly a quarter of shoppers – 33 million people – would.
Some economists say shopping on Thanksgiving Day may soon become more popular and profitable for stores than Black Friday. Others say it’s too soon to tell.
“It shows how competitive the market it,” said Saint Mary’s College economics professor Richard Measell. “I think once one or a few stores start doing this, other stores may start thinking maybe this is the way they need to go.”
Measell also said stores would not open if the demand wasn’t there.
“Some people argue the companies that do this are sort of in dire straits in terms of how their bottom line is and this may be the thing that sort of keeps them open or not,” he said.
Big box companies such as Wal-Mart, Macy’s and Target, which are all scheduled to be open sometime on Thanksgiving Day aren’t worried about that, but other national chains may be, Measell added.
He also thinks a lot of people overemphasize the amount of shopping done on Thanksgiving weekend.
“Often times people think Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year but really the last weekend before Christmas is the biggest shopping time of the year,” he said.
As for Mara and her family, they’re happy to skip the stores if it means more time together.
“I love to cook! And shopping isn’t what this holiday’s supposed to be about anyway,” she said.