With a week before the traditional start to the holiday shopping season, 2012 Black Friday deals will come earlier than ever.
Rather than opening their doors early Friday morning, a growing number of retailers are planning to roll out their best deals Thanksgiving night. Walmart, Target, Sears and Toys-R-Us will all have Thursday night hours.
With holiday sales accounting for 40 percent of retail business, marketing experts say stores are responding to demand and competition.
"There's only a segment of the customers that are wanting this," says University of Houston marketing lecturer Paul Galvani. "From a competition standpoint: the retailer, if his competitor is open during Thanksgiving, then he's gonna be forced to open. otherwise, he's going to lose out on significant volume."
Some Walmart employees have threatened a walk-out to protest the early hours, but experts say the trend toward the early hours will continue as long as there are customers.
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