New this year: Shorter store hours Thanksgiving night

As more stores open their doors on Thanksgiving Day, the need for shoppers to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to snag a Black Friday deal is fading.

In a shift this year, two Palm Beach County malls will close in the overnight hours between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

Last year, The Mall at Wellington Green remained open for 25 consecutive hours beginning on Thanksgiving evening.

This year, the mall will close to customers between midnight and 6 a.m. on Black Friday.

» Check our Black Friday HQ for store hours, deals and more

“Based on feedback that we receive from our retailers, we made a determination that we would close,” said Rachelle Crain, the mall’s marketing director. “We still have a lot of people who want to shop on Thanksgiving evening, and our stores want to open their doors and welcome those shoppers.”

Palm Beach Outlets will also close overnight this year. In 2014, the outdoor shopping hub officially opened at midnight on Black Friday, although some of the mall’s larger tenants opened on Thanksgiving evening.

This year, the outlet center said it will close between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Black Friday.

“Anytime you see a shift like that it is a direct result of a retailer listening to the demand of consumers,” said James Miller, a spokesman for the Florida Retail Federation. “Retailers are trying to listen to their customers wants, and they are opening up at the times their customers want them to be open.”

In a push to boost sales, many retailers plan to start their Black Friday sales online beginning early Thanksgiving morning.

For the first time, Walmart plans to offer a majority of its Black Friday deals online beginning at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time on Thanksgiving. Target has also said it will offer some of its Black Friday deals online early Thanksgiving morning; while Toys R Us planned to give its rewards member early access to more than 100 Black Friday items beginning Sunday.

“There is so much attention to the online now,” said Brent Shelton, a spokesman for the Black Friday deals website, “Even for the stores that are closed on Thanksgiving, their online sites are going to be working. Because of that there is less foot traffic, especially during those late hours.”

Americans plan to do almost half of their holiday shopping online this year, and one in five of those who own smartphones will use them to purchase holiday merchandise, according to the National Retail Federation.

Although some consumers have pushed back against Thanksgiving Day store openings, arguing the holiday is a time to be thankful, not to go acquire more, the national federation said more people are expected to shop on the holiday this year.

According to a federation survey, 22.3 percent say they will go to a store on Thanksgiving, up from 18.3 percent in 2014.

Still, Black Friday remains the most popular shopping day. The federation said 73.5 percent of consumers plan to shop on the day after Thanksgiving.

Benjamin K. Glaser with DealNews, a bargain-hunting website, said it seems the push for retailers to open earlier on Thanksgiving has slowed. Several retailers, including Toys R Us, BrandsMart, and Best Buy, will hold the line on Thanksgiving Day hours and open at the same time as they did last year.

“Last year, stores realized there just weren’t enough customers on Thanksgiving Day,” Glaser said. “A lot of stores were seeing really empty spaces for a lot of Thanksgiving. It cost them money.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Nation & World

Gunman dressed as clown kills 1, injures 7 in Nashville church shooting
Gunman dressed as clown kills 1, injures 7 in Nashville church shooting

Authorities in Nashville, Tennessee are investigating a shooting at a church on Sunday that left one person dead and seven injured. It happened around 11:15 at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch. A woman was shot and killed and six others injured in the rampage. Another person was pistol whipped by the shooter and taken to a local hospital...
NEW: Mother arrested after her baby’s decomposed body found in bin
NEW: Mother arrested after her baby’s decomposed body found in bin

A 41-year-old mother was arrested on murder charges after police said they found the decomposed remains of her baby in a container in her apartment. Laurens County Sheriff’s deputies discovered the baby’s body on Monday when they were trying to evict Jamie M. Wilson from her Fountain Inn, S.C., apartment, according to Greenville...
Live updates: Trump slams players, NFL responds by taking a knee 
Live updates: Trump slams players, NFL responds by taking a knee 

Football players across the NFL fired back at President Donald Trump in Sunday’s season opening games, protesting his remarks criticizing the league and its players. Dozens of players knelt or locked arms to show their solidarity against the president’s “divisive” comments. The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t even show up for...
Steelers sitting out national anthem in game against Chicago
Steelers sitting out national anthem in game against Chicago

The Pittsburgh Steelers will not be participating in the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.  Head coach Mike Tomlin announced the Steelers will remain in the locker room during the anthem.  The move follows President Donald Trump’s criticism of the NFL and players’ protests during a political...
Jaguars, Ravens lock arms, kneel during national anthem
Jaguars, Ravens lock arms, kneel during national anthem

Several players from both Baltimore and Jacksonville responded to President Donald Trump’s comments on the NFL by kneeling and locking arms during the national anthem.  The two teams competed in London on Sunday. Many Twitter users shared photos of the scene on the field at Wembley Stadium: The Ravens and Jaguars game is the first NFL game...
More Stories