Target is stretching out its Black Friday shopping event by starting early, opening stores in the evening on Thanksgiving, launching online deals Thanksgiving morning, and featuring deals for 10 days starting Nov. 22.
The retailers announced it would open 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, saying that start time is something of a “sweet spot” that allows its customers to celebrate the day while maintaining their “tradition” of shopping there that day too.
Some Black Friday deals, including on electronics and smart toys, will be available the Monday before, the retailer said. Target has also begun offering no-minimum free shipping on online orders through Dec. 20.
Target’s approach to Black Friday is designed to get shoppers into stores more often than just a day, the retailer says. For 10 days starting Nov. 22, when its "10 days of deals" promotion launches, the retailer will be offering one-day deals by category.
“It’s about getting more trips with the guest, not spreading the one trip out,” Target chief stores officer Tina Tyler said in a media briefing, reports The Washington Post.
And she said that the retailer is opening on Thanksgiving for the fourth year straight because its customers have incorporated trips to Target into their own Thanksgiving tradition.
“Six p.m. continues to be the right opening time for us,” she said. “It felt good to us last year to be able to allow those family traditions to take place around Thanksgiving, but also let shopping be part of it.”
That's quite an assertion, one that sounds like something of a defense against criticism that many retailers have encountered over opening that day. That has led some others to walk back that "tradition" to remain closed on Thanksgiving, saving the rush for Black Friday.
Meanwhile, Target CEO Brian Cornell also said the retailer is working with consumers’ current approach to spending, which includes being more careful and splurging on experiences like eating out rather than buying more things.
“We’ve seen today’s consumer saving a lot more money,” Cornell said in an interview last month. “They’re paying down credit card balances. They’re treating their family occasionally to trips to their favorite restaurant. But, overall, you’re just seeing a very conservative consumer environment. I don’t expect that to change dramatically during the holiday season. So we’re really focused on the things we can control.”