ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – Some shoppers and retail employees don’t like it. But University of Michigan Marketing Professor David Wooten says the move by many stores to open on Thanksgiving Day is a big hit with many people.

“Unfortunately, I think the segment that is saying, “well look, you are interfering with Thanksgiving – this is a sacred holiday, why are you doing this?” They are not the same segment that is actually showing up early in the morning and now leaving their dinners late at night at Thanksgiving,” said Wooten.

Wooten expects to see more and more stores and malls opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving Day in the future.

“It worries me a little bit because you wonder – what then will happen to Thanksgiving because Thanksgiving used to be a distinct ritual – they would kind of transition into a new ritual. But now they are having to do it a little earlier,” noted Wooten. “It makes you wonder if at some point the Thanksgiving dinner is going to be something like a tailgate before the big game.”

But he says the holiday deals may just be taking away from sales that would have happened on Black Friday.

“I don’t think anyone realizes that they ultimately can’t win, they keep moving it earlier, the competitors will match it. Pretty soon everyone will be doing it just a day or two earlier – with the same results as they were having if they would have waited until after Thanksgiving.”


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