WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Holiday bargain seekers getting earlier start

Posted November 26, 2013

Remember when Thanksgiving Day meant parades, football and family?

For Theresa Alden, it still does

“That's the way it's always been with me, and it will stay that way,” she says.

But plenty of people are adding bargain shopping to their Thanksgiving to-do list. Stores are opening earlier and earlier, offering 25 to 40 percent discounts the day before Black Friday.

Economists point to a still somewhat fragile economy and retailers doing what they can to turn a profit.

Walmart says customer surveys show shoppers want to get an earlier start. The mega-retailer has been open on Thanksgiving Day for years, but this year it’s moving up the timing of its best bargains.

That's just what shoppers like Tameka Tomlinson like to hear.

“I will be here Thursday for the 6 o’clock event and the 8 o’clock event, and I'll be here Friday,” Tomlinson said about her plans to be at Walmart.

Tomlinson said she isn't worried about commercial culture taking over the traditional turkey holiday.

“I'm going to eat early. I'm going to take a quick nap and then come shopping,” she said.

Others aren't so sure.

“It's just not the way it should be,” Alden said. “It's a holiday. It's a national holiday where we Amercians should be home with our families.”

Some stores are opting to stay closed for Thanksgiving, even posting signs declaring, "Employees will be spending the holiday with their families.”

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