As more than a dozen major retailers from Target to Toys R Us opened on Thanksgiving Day, shoppers across the country got a jump start on holiday shopping. The Thanksgiving openings come despite planned protests across the country from workers’ groups that are against employees missing Thanksgiving meals at home.
More than 200 people stood in line at the Toys R Us store in Manhattan before its 5 p.m. opening.
Green Bryant was first in line at 10 a.m. The restaurant manager ended up buying a dollhouse for $129 — $30 off — a Barbie doll and a LeapFrog learning system. Bryant, 28, said she didn’t miss Thanksgiving festivities but was going home to cook a Thanksgiving meal for her two children.
“It was worth it,” she said. “Now I gotta go home and cook.”
At a Target store in Brooklyn, N.Y., about 25 people were waiting in line at 2:50 p.m. for the 8 p.m. opening, an hour earlier than a year ago.
Theresa Alcantaro, 35, a crossing guard, was waiting with her 12-year-old son to buy an Xbox One. It wasn’t on sale, but supplies have been scarce. She was missing a gathering of 40 family members but said she would meet up after shopping. She hoped to be in and out by 9 p.m.
“Honestly if I can get a good deal, I do not mind,” she said about Thanksgiving Day shopping. “I see my family every day. They understand.”
After shopping at Target and meeting up with her family, she plans to go back out again at midnight with family members but wasn’t sure where yet.
The holiday openings are a break with tradition. The day after Thanksgiving, called Black Friday, for a decade had been considered the official start to the holiday buying season. It’s also typically the biggest shopping day of the year.
But in the past few years, retailers have pushed opening times into Thanksgiving night. They’ve also pushed up discounting that used to be reserved for Black Friday into early November, which has led retail experts to question whether the Thanksgiving openings will steal some of Black Friday’s thunder.
In fact, Thanksgiving openings took a bite out of Black Friday sales last year: Sales on turkey day were $810 million last year, an increase of 55 percent from the previous year as more stores opened on the holiday, according to Chicago research firm ShopperTrak.