With stores opening on Thanksgiving afternoon for Black Friday shopping, is the next day still an important shopping holiday?
Many area retailers say yes.
The Grand Forks J.C. Penney opened its doors for Black Friday starting at 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. Target offered deals starting at 5 p.m. and Walmart at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
Scheels will open a few hours earlier than normal on Black Friday at 7 a.m.
“Retailers are extending the shopping event from one day, where people would get up super early to shop, to two days,” said manager of the Columbia Mall, Justin Valinski. “Most retailers are reluctant to close when the big box stores are open.”
Many area stores will either offer deals that are strictly on Friday. Scheels is only open on Friday.
“We really value making sure our employees enjoy Thanksgiving Day with their families,” said Chrissy Brabandt, the store manager at Scheels.
While Target opened on Thursday evening, they still planned on having a long line Friday.
“We’re having a few ‘true Black Friday’ specials,” said assistant store manager Megan Bledsoe.
Target is offering these Friday-only deals, like a 20 percent-off coupon if shoppers spend $50 in-store on Friday, as an incentive to get people to into the store today, Bledsoe said.
Small stores, too
And Black Friday is not just an important retail day for big box stores, a study from Womply shows. Brad Plothow, the vice president of communications for the retail analyst, said that Black Friday drives the biggest bump in sales in North Dakota for small, independent retailers.
The average purchase price on Black Friday in the state is $208, which is the highest ranking in the country, according to Plothow.
“No state does better than North Dakota on a per-purchase basis on Black Friday,” Plothow said. “People in North Dakota spend 208 percent more on Black Friday than on average sale day.”
This sales bump puts North Dakota as the seventh biggest spender at small independent retailers on Black Friday in the country, Plothow said.
North Dakota ranked behind Utah, Nevada, New York and New Hampshire, states with much higher populations.
And small businesses continue to do well on Small Business Saturday. North Dakotans spend $64 more than an average sale day on Small Business Saturday.
“Businesses in North Dakota still do really well on Small Business Saturday, North Dakota ranks No. 11 among other states for spending on that day,” Plothow said.
Small Business Saturday is the fourth-best revenue day of the year in the state.
“There are far more incentives to get out and shop on Black Friday, and smaller retailers have jumped in on this,” Plothow said. “And people are still in the ‘spending mindset’ on Saturday.”
Retailers will continue to open stores earlier and earlier on the Thanksgiving holiday.
Valinski believes this “diminishes the concept” behind Black Friday.
“There used to be more urgency within the compressed timeframe to secure the deals, and consumers would chase through the stores,” Valinski said.
But the upside of this, Valinski said, is with the holiday spread out over more than one day, stores can be more prepared.
“Now it’s more thoughtfully planned, and there seems to be less of an urgency to shop stores before they run out of items,” Valinski said.