Early bird shoppers turn out on Thanksgiving
NEW YORK - Americans are heading to the stores for gift shopping on Thanksgiving in what's quickly becoming a new holiday tradition.
Just a few years ago when some stores started opening late on the holiday, the move was met with resistance from workers and shoppers who believed the day should be sacred.
Last year, more than dozen major retailers opened at some point on Thanksgiving evening. And this year, at least half of them are opening earlier in the evening.
The Thanksgiving openings are one way retailers are trying to compete for Americans' holiday dollars. Retailers used to focus sales promotions on Black Friday. But increasingly, they've been pushing promotions earlier to grab deal-hungry shoppers' attention.
The National Retail Federation expects 25.6 million shoppers to take advantage of the Thanksgiving openings and it's starting to take a bite out of Black Friday business. Indeed, sales dropped 13.2 percent to $9.74 billion on Black Friday last year.