Thursday, October 12, 2006

Midnight shopping after Thanksgiving

CNN Money writes about the shopping rush happening sooner every year as several retailers are starting their Thanksgiving holiday sales at midnight this year. Typically stores open early around 5am on 'Black Friday' but increasingly shoppers are not satisfied and want special bargain hunter deals even earlier.

The largest property developer in the US, Simon Property Group's division Chelsea Property Group tested midnight openings called "Midnight Madness" at 8 locations last year. The 8 retailers were given the choice of opening at midnight and half did open at the time and this year the company is expanding the program to 25 stores.
Many store chains chalk up more than half their annual sales and profits in November and December alone, hence the term "Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving that traditionally marks the season when stores start moving into the black, or profitability.

It's one of the busiest shopping days of the year, second usually to the Saturday before Christmas.

Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst with NPD Group, a market research firm, thinks retailers are being smart by wanting to get consumers into their stores at midnight.

"No doubt, it's a much better play to have consumers wandering in your store that early instead of waiting outside for a few hours until the store opens at 5 a.m. so that they're first to grab the hot sales," Cohen said. "The advantage of having people in your store is that you don't lose those two to three hours of sales."

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