So Macy’s Is Opening At 8 P.M. On Thanksgiving. What’s In It For Them?

Macy’s recently confirmed that they’ll be opening up at 8 P.M. on Thanksgiving Day. They’re not the first retailer to open their doors while many Americans are eyeing their third slice of pie, but they are the first to announce an obscenely early Black Friday opening time. (Of course, we broke the story two weeks before that.) Why is the department store chain risking backlash and opening so early?

Part of the reason, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Kyle Stock speculates, is that there won’t be much of a backlash. People who don’t like the idea of opening early on Thanksgiving Day Sure, you might be mildly irked at the idea of opening an enclosed mall anchor early for doorbuster sales, but that won’t stop most Americans who were going to shop at Macy’s. It might earn the chain a friendly visit from Rev. Billy, but that’s publicity. Very few shoppers, if any, are going to boycott Macy’s over this.

What it does get the company, Stock notes, is some buzz. The chain’s most impressive sale items will be regular old housewares, not the dirt-cheap plasma TVs and computers that customers camp out in advance for. Their deals won’t be sexy, but hey, we’re talking about Macy’s now, aren’t we? Would we be talking about Macy’s without following it with the word “parade” in the days around Thanksgiving otherwise?

The Game Theory Behind Macy’s Thanksgiving Opening [Bloomberg Businessweek]