Black Friday shopping starts early this holiday season
Employee petition retailers to push back opening times to Friday
"Black Friday" may be a thing of the past. That's because retailers in Jacksonville and across the United State are duking it out over who is the first store to open for the big annual holiday sales.
What used to be a day-after-Thanksgiving ritual is now inching closer and closer to the Thursday night turkey dinner.
Shoppers spent $52.5 billion last year on Black Friday alone.
Diggie Vitt is more concerned with his Thanksgiving schedule than the actual holiday. Vitt and his fellow employees will all have to work at midnight on Black Friday.
"If the mall opens at midnight, we open at midnight, and it's going to be rough on me," said Vitt.
Every year stores like Wal-Mart, Sears and Target open earlier and earlier Thanksgiving day. Wal-Mart’s first set of deals begins an hour earlier than they last year; the store recently announced they'll be open for Black Friday shopping at 8 p.m. Toy’s R Us opens at 8 p.m. too. Sears and Target are opening at 9 p.m. Macy’s, Hhgregg, Best Buy, and Kohl's will open at midnight.
Some retail workers are fighting back against the newly established hours for this holiday season. There is a petition on change.org asking the CEO of Target to reconsider Thanksgiving hours. The petition already has close to 175,000 signatures. However, last year a group of workers tried to petition Best Buy to change their hours to no avail.
"Black Friday is our Super Bowl in the retail world, we look forward to it every year," said St. Johns Town Center's Lyndsay Rossman.
Retailers are expecting this years Black Friday sales to top last years $52.5 billion in sales, they are also forecasting a jump in shoppers. In the last two years alone shoppers have increased by $14 million. That number is why many retailers have jumped on the Christmas and Black Friday band wagon even earlier than usual.
The Avenues Mall, The Town Center, The Regency Mall and The Orange Park mall will all open at midnight on Black Friday.
"There are big crowds, crazy, crazy crowds and we will be out there with the crazy people," said shopper Patricia Carduner.
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