Black Friday Now Gray Thursday? - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Black Friday Now Gray Thursday?

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A new consumer survey shows holiday spending will likely rise between 3.5 percent and 4 percent this year. Black Friday will surely help that survey come true as many companies are seeing Black Friday being pushed into Thanksgiving Day. It is causing a shift in the day in which some stores are seeing an increase in revenue.

More and more, Black Friday is turning into "Gray Thursday". Large retail chains such as K-Mart are opening their doors to price drops and sales on Thanksgiving.

"Thanksgiving is becoming more and more the date to go out shopping. All the stores are opening up earlier and earlier, and everyone want to hit those specials," said Doug Nygren, store manager of Kearney's K-Mart.

According to the National Retail Federation, in 2009, 3 percent of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers hit the stores on Thursday. In 2010, that number was 9 percent; and in 2011 it reached 24 percent.

"It's great for us but not great for the workers," said Paul Kelsey, shopper.

"It's just not worth my time to leave Thanksgiving dinner or your Thanksgiving company to buy a purchase," said Carol Perrino, shopper.

Kearney K-Mart store officials admit they were not ready for the madness, but they were better prepared than last year.

"[We were] probably not as much as I would've liked to been. We'll take this going into next year, and see if we can make some improvements," said Nygren.

In-store preparations may now be higher on the to–do list for K-Mart next year, but opening times could be right under it.

"This year it seems like we moved it up, and with us moving up, we can see other companies doing the same," said Nygren.

Some shoppers agree it may just be time to corral the shopping carts, and bring back the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

"Thanksgiving is one of the few retail days off where many employees can just stay at home and enjoy the day with their family. It's one of the few remaining holidays, and now that's being cut into even more and more," said Sarah Wiley, shopper. 

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