Nov. 08--Best Buy Inc. said Friday it will open on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m., joining a growing number of major retailers to allow consumers to shop on the holiday itself and ahead of what is traditionally considered the biggest shopping day of the year.
In making the announcement, the Richfield-based consumer electronics retailer said it was responding to consumer demand.
At the same time, Best Buy, along with other retailers, has been forced by competitive pressure from online retailers, as well as the event-like atmosphere they have created with earlier openings on the Friday after Thanksgiving, to move into the holiday itself.
A year ago, Best Buy opened at midnight on the day after Thanksgiving, which is known as Black Friday because it is reputed as the day that many retailers turn profitable for the year.
So far this year, Toys R Us, Macy's, J.C. Penney, Kohl's and some smaller chains have said they will open on Thanksgiving evening.
Two big retailers, Target and Wal-Mart, have not yet said whether they will open on Thanksgiving.
In its announcement, Best Buy acknowledged that opening earlier would impact the holiday of thousands of its workers around the country. "But much of the internal feedback we have gotten so far reflects our collective desire to serve customers and have a successful holiday," the statement added, noting workers will receive holiday pay.
State laws prevent Best Buy and other retailers from opening on Thanksgiving in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Some 13 percent of U.S. consumers plan to shop on Thanksgiving this year, according to a recent poll from the International Council of Shopping Centers
"The expansion of the Thanksgiving bargain-shopping days to include Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday has transformed this period with more intensive shopping planned for Black Friday this year than at any time since at least 2009 when the survey began," Michael Niemira, the group's chief economist, said.
John Ewoldt -- 612-673-7633
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Original headline: Best Buy to open at 6 on Thanksgiving evening
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