These days, you can get a decent night’s sleep before — or after — heading out for Black Friday bargains.
The retail industry seems to have settled into a pattern, with Thanksgiving Day hours of 5 p.m. to midnight or 1 a.m. and stores reopening again at 6, 7, 8 or 9 a.m. Friday — thus arresting several years of graveyard-shift Black Friday creep.
Walmart has normal hours, which means 24 hours a day at the south-side Supercenter, though in-store Black Friday sales start at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. The Walmart on Cerrillos Road will be open the usual 6 a.m. to midnight Thursday and Friday.
Early Black Friday hours started in the late 2000s with some retailers unlocking doors at 4 or 5 a.m. and Gap Inc. venturing into Thanksgiving in 2008 with its The Gap and Old Navy stores. A few more stores slipped into Thanksgiving in 2009, but more stuck to 3, 4, and 5 a.m. openings through 2010. Midnight came more into play in 2011, and the floodgates for Thanksgiving openings busted wide open from 2012-14.
Toys R Us threw down the Thanksgiving midnight gauntlet in 2009, with Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Best Buy opening at midnight in 2011 and many others subsequently joining in.
But now, predawn openings seem to be gone, putting smaller operators on more even footing.
Toyopolis in downtown Santa Fe is old-school — closed on Thanksgiving. It won’t open until 10 a.m. Friday. But the store, which specializes in puzzles, games, toys, Lego products and stuff that doesn’t require a wall plug-in or a screen with wireless access, banks on kids still loving tried-and-true options, owner Jennifer Forman said.
“Kids learn through play using our minds, and using our large motor skills and small motor skills helps with reasoning and problem-solving,” Forman said. “I want to inspire kids that some learning can be fun.”
She also offers free gift wrap. Hey, anything helps.
As for prospects for retailers this year, the International Council of Shopping Centers and National Retail Federation predict an increase in Black Friday sales.
“As to Black Friday’s importance, while the day itself is no longer considered the start of the holiday shopping season that it once was, the period from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday continues to be a significant shopping event for retailers and consumers alike,” said federation spokesman Thomas Jordan.
The federation expects holiday retail sales during November and December to increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent over 2018 to about $730 million.
Christmas used to be a giving season. But now, Black Friday shopping is about the buyer.
“During [the Thanksgiving weekend] 84 percent of shoppers will spend on holiday gifts,” International Council spokeswoman Stephanie Cegielski said. “At the same time, 65 percent of shoppers will spend on goods not intended as holiday gifts.”
The National Retail Federation said Generation Z shoppers (those born since 1997) and millennials (born 1981 to 1996) on average spend $149 on holiday purchases for themselves, more than any other generation.
WalletHub, a personal finance website, has a tip for shoppers principally hunting for discounts on Black Friday.
“The overall average discount for Black Friday is 40 percent,” WalletHub reported. “Consumers should aim for this discount amount or higher to avoid Black-Friday traps.”
Thanksgiving still seems to be a somewhat exclusive shopping day. The National Retail Federation expected 39.6 million shoppers to head out on Turkey Day, in contrast to the 114.6 million anticipated on Black Friday and 66.6 million on Small Business Saturday. Sunday should have only 33.3 million shoppers as no high-profile “Day” is in place, though there will be the third Museum Store Sunday.
Holiday spending is expected to pick up again on Cyber Monday, with 68.7 million people hunting for online bargains.
An International Council of Shopping Centers consumer survey determined 82 percent of Black Friday shoppers will bring home apparel and footwear, 74 percent will go for electronics and toys/games, and 72 percent plan to give food or drink as gifts. Big-box stores such as Walmart and Target would see 93 percent of Black Friday devotees.
This will be the last Black Friday for Kmart in Santa Fe, which will shut down Dec. 15 after welcoming generation after generation at the same St. Michael’s Village location since 1976. The closure was announced in September.
The rear third of the store has been cleared out. Inventory is limited to stock on hand. Deep discounts apply to what’s left: 75 percent off on jewelry; 45 percent off on toys, games and dolls; 50 percent off watches and 60 percent to 75 percent off all clothing — plus whatever discounts are on top of discounts.
Black Friday (and Thanksgiving) hours in Santa Fe
Walmart Supercenter: open 24 hours
Walmart on Cerrillos Road: 6 a.m. to midnight both days
The Home Depot: closed Thanksgiving, open at 6 a.m. Friday
Lowe’s: closed Thanksgiving, open at 6 a.m. Friday
Best Buy: 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thanksgiving, 8 a.m. Friday
Total Wine: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thanksgiving, 9 a.m. Friday
Ross Dress for Less, DeVargas Center: closed Thanksgiving, open at 9 a.m. Friday
Ross Dress for Less, Zafarano Drive: 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thanksgiving, 7 a.m. Friday
TJ Maxx: closed Thanksgiving, open at 7 a.m. Friday
Michaels: 6 p.m. to midnight Thanksgiving, 7 a.m. Friday
PetSmart: closed Thanksgiving, open at 7 a.m. Friday
Cost Plus World Market: closed Thanksgiving, open at 7 a.m. Friday
JCPenney: 2 p.m. to midnight Thanksgiving, 6 a.m. Friday
Santa Fe Place: closed Thanksgiving, open at 7 a.m. Friday
Santa Claus at Santa Fe Place: 1 to 3 p.m. Friday
Dillard’s: closed Thanksgiving, open at 8 a.m. Friday
Hobby Lobby: closed Thanksgiving, open at 8 a.m. Friday
Forever 21: closed Thanksgiving, open at 7 a.m. Friday
H&M: closed Thanksgiving, open at 7 a.m. Friday
Bed Bath & Beyond: 5 p.m. to midnight Thanksgiving, 6 a.m. Friday
Sam’s Club: closed Thanksgiving, open at 7 a.m. Friday
Target: 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thanksgiving, 7 a.m. Friday
Kmart: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thanksgiving, 8 a.m. Friday
JOANN: closed Thanksgiving, open at 6 a.m. Friday
Pier 1 Imports: closed Thanksgiving, open at 8 a.m. Friday
DeVargas Center: closed Thanksgiving, open at 9 a.m. Friday