Has Black Friday Lost Its Luster? [POLL/AUDIO]
"Black Friday no longer exists," said Brian Sozzi, CEO of Belus Capital Advisors. "All of these retailers are essentially following each other. They want customers in the store as early as possible."
So why is this happening?
"Throughout the year, the consumer has not gone out and spent a great deal. Even when they have gone out for back-to-school shopping, they have been very cautious. They aren't going out and charging a lot of money on their credit cards. I think retailers want to get people in the store quickly, get them buying early and hopefully, they'll come back the last couple of days before Christmas," said Sozzi.
Macy's, J.C. Penney, and Kohl's are among the stores that plan to open on Thanksgiving Day and Kmart stores will open from 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day until 11 p.m. Black Friday. Toys R Us will open its doors at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Online promotions and deals are out earlier than ever as well. In fact, Wal-Mart kicked off its promotions a month earlier than usual.
"Personally, I think Thanksgiving should be a family day. If you look at the companies that are opening, many of them aren't opening super early on Thanksgiving Day. Kmart is opening its doors because it needs the business. But, I think we'll see more retailers open Thanksgiving morning and throughout the day next year. I think companies are doing whatever they can to get people in their stores early and to promote more of their deals. Unfortunately, I think that is just the way things are going," said Sozzi.
What about Cyber Monday? Is that losing its importance too?
"Cyber Monday will always be important as more people have mobile devices and retailers put out their best deals," said Sozzi.
But he admitted the entire season has become blurred as retailers offer online promotions throughout the season.
"I think discounts are going to be better than you might expect this year. Retailers are worried about how their financials are going to turn out for the holiday season. So, if you can wait them out until the last couple of days before Christmas, the deals will be even bigger, so I think you'll fare quite well," said Sozzi.