Stores open for Black Friday even earlier -- on Thursday

November 21, 2012

After finishing dinner and washing the dishes, many Arizonans may head out to their local big box retailer. Some stores have begun opening at midnight on Black Friday, some are even opening late Thanksgiving night. Despite outcry from employees who don’t think they should be asked to work on a holiday and complaints from the public about Christmas creep, Michelle Ahlmer, executive director of the Arizona Retailers Association, said companies don’t make these decisions lightly.

“This is an expensive proposition for retailers to extend their hours, because they have to hire people to do it," Ahlmer said. "They wouldn’t be doing it if they hadn’t done some research to find out if there was consumer demand.”

Ahlmer says if you don’t like the early openings, don’t shop – businesses respond to consumer behavior, not the other way around. Ahlmer also said stores may see it as a safety issue.

“In years past, there have been incidences of these doorbuster sales where people have gotten injured – customers and employees. In an effort to spread it out, you’ll see that the hours from all of the retailers are a little bit staggered. This is in an effort to have a safer shopping experience as well.”