It used to be that shoppers would hit the stores on Black Friday for all those holiday deals; but this year, some won’t even wait to clear the table before taking off for the mall.
More stores than ever are opening on Thanksgiving this year, when the holiday falls as late in November as the calendar possibly allows it to.
– Kmart leads the pack, opening at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving day and staying open for 41 hours straight.
– Toys ‘R’ Us is opening at 5 p.m.
– Wal-Mart will start its sales at 6 p.m.
– Macy’s, Kohl’s, J.C. Penney and Sears will let customers in at 8 p.m.
According to the National Retail Federation, of the 140 million expected to shop sometime between Thursday and Sunday, nearly a quarter say they plan to on Thanksgiving Day.
It still won’t beat out Black Friday; nearly 97 million shoppers are expected to hit stores the day after Thanksgiving. Even if they’re not open, more than half of all retailers will have Thanksgiving specials online, according to NRF.
The early openings have fueled people to vent on social media calling the stores’ decisions “heartless,” “greedy” or “shameful” for taking away Thanksgiving from store employees.
For shoppers who decide to head out there early, they can expect some big savings.
Like every year, some of the hottest deals are on consumer electronics, like Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle and laptops from various brands.
Staples will be selling the new Kindle Fire 7 inch 16GB tablet for $79, which is roughly half off, though this deal is only for 1 per customer and as supplies last. Wal-Mart will give iPad buyers $100 gift cards.
Best Buy is getting a lot of hype for its sales, which include a 55-inch LG flat screen television for $499.
Black Friday deal experts say some of the best deals could come from Wal-Mart, since the door buster sales offered during specific hours are guaranteed to any shopper in line for the items at that time. If something sells out in stores, shoppers will get a voucher for the item at the sale price.
While shoppers will be out looking for big discounts, some retail workers across the country are planning to join protests demanding better pay. OUR Walmart, a union-backed group said it is planning 1,500 protests at Wal-Mart stores across the country.
Workers held similar demonstrations last Black Friday, and the protests have continued throughout the year.
For much more on Black Friday deals and shopping tips, click here.
(CNN contributed to this report)