Your Guide To Black Friday Start Times: Start Planning Extreme Shopping Strategies

We already know that Walmart is pushing back its Black Friday sale start time to 8 p.m. on Thursday (yes, that’s Thanksgiving!), but what about all its competitors? When are those doors going to come banging open to allow the frenzied flow of devoted discounters to get to work? Let’s just say it might be a good idea to scheduled dinner early in the day if you want to partake in the retail madness.

Why the pushback? Well it seems like lots of us value this thing we call “sleep” and getting up at 3 a.m. to stand in lines at 4 a.m. is just not so appetizing. Make it easier for the customer and maybe they’ll buy even more, goes the thinking here.

As for other stores, the Wall Street Journal did a bang-up job of rounding up starting times for the consumer who can’t wait to tear into their favorite spots and pull in some big savings.

  • Sears opens at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving this year and will remain open all night until 10 p.m. on Friday. Last year it did the 4 a.m. on Black Friday thing but caved to customers for a pushed back start time, said a spokeswoman.
  • Gap will have around 1,100 Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores open on Thanksgiving day and an additional 1,500 more at midnight on Black Friday.
  • Best Buy is going to open its doors at midnight, same as last year, and will give reservation tickets to those waiting up to two hours ahead of time for certain items.
  • Macy‘s will also do the midnight opening for Black Friday, as it did in 2011.
  • Target hasn’t officially announced it, but employees tell Consumerist — and it’s listed on the “leaked” Black Friday cicular — that Target will likely open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.
  • Staples is a bit of a late starter, relatively speaking, with a 5 a.m. opening time. But hey, that’s an hour earlier than last year for the store, and there will be special offers for mobile shoppers the night before at 11 p.m.
  • Toys R Us — The majority of Toys R Us stores will be open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving for Black Friday, and Babies R Us stores will be opening at 5 a.m. A source tells Consumerist that there are a few stores that will be opening earlier (NYC) or later, depending on local blue laws.

Start planning your routes and practicing your evasive maneuvers now, shoppers. There’s less than two weeks before the big day.

‘Black Friday’ Creeps Further Into Thanksgiving [Wall Street Journal]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.