In the constant quest to get shoppers excited and make the evening news, both Target and Mall of America announced today their plans to open at midnight on Black Friday. It actually seems more civilized than 3 or 4 a.m. I’d rather stay up late than crawl out of bed in the middle of the night to shop.
Black Friday hours have been creeping earlier for years. Last year, several chains, including Sears and Gap, were open on Thanksgiving Day. Premium Outlets, including Albertville, has opened at midnight the past few years–creating traffic jams in the process.
Target says the decision to open four hours earlier than last year was based on customer demand. Mall of America has 70 of its 500-plus retailers signed on for the midnight opening. It will be interesting to see what the deals are like: longer hours could actually help retailers create more of a party atmosphere–putting the emphasis on the event of shopping, rather than the blockbuster deals that have become synonymous with Black Friday. But it would have to be a really excellent party. Discounts are the reward for staying up late or rising extra early, and it won’t be easy to change that.
P.S.: Macy’s announced on Monday that its stores will open at midnight on Black Friday as well.
Will you shop at midnight?