Christmas is a-creepin’ closer and closer each and every day. As we have already established, I have a slight fascination with the marketing phenomenon known as “Christmas Creep.” We have already discussed the early start to the holiday shopping season as well as which retailers will be hiring temporary seasonal employees. Today we turn our attention to the cornerstone of Christmas Creep, Black Friday.

Black Friday: It Starts on Thursday

Traditionally, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has been the day to shop for holiday gifts. To kick off the shopping season, many retailers offer insane deals on everything from clothing to flat screen televisions. In recent years, however, Black Friday has started earlier and earlier. Many retailers have picked up a new tradition of opening at midnight on Friday night/Thursday morning.

Still, there have been a few notable holdouts, including Macy’s, JCPenney and Kohl’s.

Holdouts No More!

christmas creepFor the first time ever, Macy’s will be open on Thanksgiving night. The stores will open at 8 pm and remain open for twenty-four straight hours. JCPenney will also open at 8 pm on Thanksgiving, but it will up the sales ante by staying open for twenty-five straight hours. Kohl’s will also pull an all-nighter.

Reactions to the extensive hours have been mixed. Some bargain hunters are positively thrilled that they will be able to get a leg up on the sales. Some blame Macy’s for “The Death of Thanksgiving.”

Whatever camp you are in, it is clear that the holiday shopping season has changed – possibly irrevocably. This means that if you are someone who relies on the holiday shopping season to make the rest of your year, you need to get a jump on your marketing and sales plans. After all, it seems as though the Christmas season ends at 9 pm on Black Friday, so time is of the essence.

How are you adjusting your marketing to reflect the early start to the holiday shopping season? Do you enjoy shopping on Black Friday?