Published On: Nov 17 2011 03:14:10 PM ESTUpdated On: Nov 12 2014 11:08:51 AM EST
Toy superstore Toys R Us is again among the earliest stores to open its doors to shoppers on Black Friday, or as it should be known now "Black Thanksgiving," announcing plans to open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.
The term "Black Friday" was originally used to describe the Sept. 24, 1864, stock market panic set off by plunging gold prices.
However, as early as the 19th century, shoppers have viewed Thanksgiving as the traditional start to the holiday shopping season, an occasion marked by celebrations and sales.
The holiday spree became so important to retailers that during the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving up to stretch out the holiday shopping season.
Newspapers in Philadelphia officially coined the term "Black Friday" in the late 1960s, using it to describe the rush of crowds at stores. There's also a belief that some retailers go from "in the red" to "in the black" for the year on that day.
As in years past, Target, Kmart and some other stores are coming under fire for opening their doors on Thanksgiving. Some employees say they'd rather spend the Thanksgiving holiday with family, not at work.
In perhaps the biggest change in Black Friday hours, Kmart announced plans to open its doors at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
Desperate times call for desperate measures in the case of RadioShack, which will open about 3,000 of its 4,200 U.S. stores on Thanksgiving after opening just a few stores on the holiday last year. Doors will open at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day and stay that way until midnight.
Best Buy pushed its holiday shopping hours up an hour this year, announcing plans to open its doors at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving night.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, kept with its hours from last year. Doors will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
Sears moved its shopping hours up to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.
Target is also opening its doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day this year. That's two hours earlier than last year.
J.C. Penney moved its hours up this year too and is now opening at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
Macy's, which opened all of its 800-plus Macy’s stores at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving last year, is moving to 6 p.m. Thanksgiving night.
Kohl's is also moving up its hours to 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving in 2014.
Minnesota's Mall of America, billed as the nation's largest mall, will open to shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
Nordstrom is making headlines as one of the few stores that will keep its doors closed on Thanksgiving, along with Costco, Marshalls, Dillard's, Pier 1 and others. They plan to open early on Black Friday.
The average American spent $407 on Black Friday in 2013, with overall sales reaching an estimated $57.4 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.
After a turbulent start to 2014, the National Retail Federation says it expects sales in November and December to increase by a healthy 4.1 percent to $616.9 billion, higher than 2013’s 3.1 percent increase during that same time frame.