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'Black Friday' shopping: how early is too early?

Macy's announced Tuesday it will open its doors early on Thanksgiving Day

LA CROSSE CO., WI - It seems like the holiday season is creeping up on us earlier and earlier every year.

Macy's is just the latest retail chain to announce it will open its doors early on Thanksgiving Day, but how early is too early?

The day after Thanksgiving is what is typically known to retailers as the biggest shopping event of the year, but no matter how early some stores open, not everyone is buying into the "Black Thursday".

At the Hobby Lobby in Onalaska, shoppers have several aisles to wheel through for holiday merchandise.

"We started receiving a lot of our holiday merchandise right around at the end of May," said David Marcou, the store's manager.

That's right, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the store even before summer officially began, and Marcou says some customers like the early start.

"You've got a lot of people who kind of ‘Oh my goodness, Christmas is coming already?' and then yeah, you've got a lot of folks who are coming in here and looking for jingle bells, garland and things like that," said Marcou.

But no matter how soon the trees, ornaments and stockings hit the sales floor, Marcou says opening on Thanksgiving Day is not an option.


"No, never open on Thursday, (and we) never will be," said Marcou. "We believe taking care of the team and taking care of the family is more important than having a day worth of sales."

Macy's making the jump to open earlier follows the trend from last year when Target opened its doors at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day and Walmart was open an hour earlier at 8.

"We're really just listening to what our customer wants, and she's indicated that she wants to shop earlier than midnight last year," said Besty Holy, vice president and store manager at Macy's in Valley View Mall.

This location is just one of about 800 across the country that will open this year at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and it's expecting a big crowd.

"It's the shopping event of the year," said Holy.

So while some want rush into the holiday season, Black Thursday shopping isn't for everyone.

"It's just the amount of people and the pushing to get one or two things," said Paige Babiash of West Salem.

"All of the other holidays have been taken over by commercials," said Caryl Pederson of Sparta. "It's just too much."

"I can see where they're coming from, let people shop, but at the same time also, it's Thanksgiving," said David Teclow of Tomah. "Let people have a day off with their families to give thanks."

Holy said management is allowing their employees to choose whether they'd like to work Thanksgiving Day or come in Friday.

She said some have expressed they'd like to work the opening shift.

While Macy's will be opening at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, Valley View Mall will open at midnight.

Target and Walmart have not announced their Black Friday hours yet.

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