In a stunning press release, Sears Holdings announced unprecedented, and sometimes perplexing, Thanksgiving and Black Friday hours for Sears and Kmart. The changes mark a shift in strategy for both stores, and the stark difference from year to year is a large part of why we were so skeptical of the lists of Black Friday hours that were circulated earlier in the season. Here’s how the news breaks down.
Last year, Sears opened at 4am, opting out of the midnight doorbuster competition altogether by positioning itself as a second stop on the Black Friday shopping agenda. For Black Friday 2012, Sears is going in a completely different direction. In a stunning turn of events, Sears will open at 8pm on Thanksgiving Day and stay open for 26 hours straight through until 10pm on Black Friday. This is by far the earliest we’ve ever seen a retailer open its doors for Black Friday. Sears is planning two rounds of doorbusters – one for the early birds beginning at 8pm on Thanksgiving, and a second round beginning at 4am. We’re looking forward to seeing how this double doorbuster strategy plays out in the Sears Black Friday ad.
Kmart’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday hours are a jumbled, confusing mess. On Thanksgiving Day, Kmart will be open from 6am to 4pm. They’ll reopen four hours later at 8pm and stay open until 3am on Black Friday, shutting the doors once again. Then they’ll reopen two hours later at 5am for Black Friday, staying open this time until 11pm. Are you confused yet? Presumably, the first break would be to let Kmart employees have Thanksgiving dinner with their families, but why close at 3am only to reopen two hours later? And why lose two hours of shopping time to the competition in the middle of the busiest shopping day of the entire year?