By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV

MAPLE GROVE (WCCO) — Stores are no longer waiting for Black Friday to offer great deals. A number of retailers opened Thanksgiving Day to get a jump start on the holiday shopping season.

The deals are just as good and the purchases are just as big as Black Friday. But, there’s one thing missing from the stores when you shop on Thanksgiving Day — the crowds.

“I love it. I love it. They usually put the ads on the internet and you can see what’s going on,” said shopper Britny Kukriede.

Retailers have found there’s a market for the Turkey Day buyer.

“I definitely think it’s someone who wants to get to the house before all the family drama,” Jennifer Garza -Stork, a manager at Sears.

This year, stores decided to break tradition to begin a new, more profitable one.

“Our customers wanted it. Last year, we were open for a shorter time frame and our customers loved it. Many families don’t have the time to shop tomorrow,” said Kristi Meiners, an Old Navy district manager.

Employees at the stores didn’t seem to mind working on a holiday.

“There were customers complaining on my behalf, saying they were forcing me to work on Thanksgiving. I reminded them that I volunteered. I offered to work,” said Ken Demona, a Sears employee.

From Sears to Old Navy, stores had to figure out a way to make working on Thanksgiving appealing.

“We’re feeding everyone today. They got the great free shirts. They get time and half today. They are volunteers, so we worked around their holiday plan so they can still have time with their families and come in — so it was a win,” said Meiners.

Many stores closed early Thursday evening to get ready for the Black Friday rush.

Newsradio 830 WCCO’s Adam Carter talked with holiday shoppers at the Mall of America.

Comments (3)
  1. K Quinn says:

    I think it is a sad reflection of what drives our society. The rationale of people “not having time to shop tomorrow’ is in so many ways absurd. If not tomorrow then go Saturday. If you want to open your store to make every extra dollar you can, fine, do it. But don’t do it in the name of customer convenience and trying sell it as customer service. I expect you to be greedy, but I also expect you to be honest about it.

  2. Konrad Sjoblom says:

    Well said. we’ve truly lost the definition of what is important in our lives and traded it in for what ever it is that can make our kids, husbands, wives, families happy, temporarily. Once the “new-car” smell has worn off, so has the feeling in which the item was given. As Dave Ramsey has said, you can buy a lot of fun but you can’t buy happiness. Too bad we’re being sold on the idea that we can still buy happiness.

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