Families gather for Gray Thursday before Black Friday - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Families gather for Gray Thursday before Black Friday

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Quick quiz: Black Friday is, of course, the official start of the holiday shopping season. But what do you call the day before? If you said Thanksgiving Day, you're only half right.

Thanksgiving has now earned the nickname Gray Thursday, because more and more retailers are opening their doors before midnight on Turkey Day. Think of it as Black Friday – only on Thursday. Or, as some people now characterize the holiday, "dine and dash."

"So you see people shopping almost in packs and that's also what makes it an event," said Regina Lewis, a USA Today contributor. "I think also it's what fueled shopping on Thanksgiving Day because it's when families are together."

Even a few extra hours of shopping can help battered businesses boost their bottom lines. But before you blame the big box stores, talk to extreme couponer Paul Ivanovsky.

"The feedback that I've gotten from Walmart is, they've said that the customers have asked for it, that they did a lot of market research and that people ask for it," explained Ivanovsky,

Fromhis Houston-area home, Ivanovsky runs a website - www.iheartthemart.com - which offersdeals and advice. He says his own readers are not too keen on Black Friday'sincreasing stranglehold on Thanksgiving.

"What I was really surprised about is, they were really concerned for the workers," he said. "They wanted the retail employees to be able to enjoy Thanksgiving with their family."

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