“Gray Thursday” is stealing some shoppers away from Black Friday.
It’s the phenomenon that has retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day to greet turkey-stuffed customers.
About 33 million shoppers of the 140 million who are expected to hunt for deals this weekend will get started on Thanksgiving, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s about a quarter of all weekend shoppers.
Town Center at Cobb will open at 8 p.m. on Thursday.
“By offering extended holiday hours, Town Center at Cobb is able to better accommodate busy holiday schedules and meet the needs of shoppers eager to kick off the holiday shopping season,” said Shelly Weidner, director of mall marketing and business development.
Target also plans to open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. The stores are joining dozens of other national chains, like Macy’s, Sears and Wal-Mart, who are opening on the holiday.
Jennifer Adams, store team leader at Target in Marietta, says part of the reason for opening early is customer convenience.
“It seems to me, and this is just my opinion … it seems to me it’s easier for shoppers to have their Thanksgiving and come shopping,” Adams said.
But competition is also a factor.
“I think just to stay competitive with other retailers, that’s a lot of the reason that Target has it in line with other retailers,” she said.
But all malls and stores aren’t hopping on the bandwagon.
At Cumberland Mall in east Cobb, Thanksgiving Day will remain a day for employees to share with their families.
The decision to open early on Black Friday is left up to individual retailers. The entire mall won’t open until 6 a.m. on Friday, according to mall management.