It’s not just Macy’s turning Black Friday this year into Black Thursday – J.C. Penney also plans to open its doors before the turkey’s cold on Thanksgiving Day.
The retailer will admit holiday shoppers starting at 8 p.m. on Nov. 28, hoping to get a jump on competitors offering similar door-buster deals.
Most of the 1,100 stores in the chain will stay open for 25 hours until closing at 9 p.m. on Friday. Last year, the Plano, Texas, company didn’t kick off its bargains until 6 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving.
The company said that salaried employees will be able to volunteer in a store of their choosing for the Thanksgiving and Black Friday marathon.
The shopping period is widely considered to be the opening salvo of the holiday scrum, which can account for as much as 40% of annual sales for some retailers.
In a weak year for retail sales, when consumers were waylaid by volatile weather and an uncertain economy, companies are hustling to offer their promotions first.
Macy’s said this month that it will open its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Last year, Wal-Mart, Sears, Target and Kmart opened on Thursday. Two years ago, Toys R Us kicked off the trend.
“We’re pulling out all the stops to be competitive this holiday season,” J.C. Penney spokeswoman Ann Marie Bishop wrote in an email.
The chain also will give away nearly 2 million Disney snow globes.
So far this year, J.C. Penney stock is down nearly 63%, closing at $7.35 a share on Thursday.
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