Retailers are banking on a strong start to the holiday shopping season.
For those shoppers already wary (or is it weary?) at the prospect of waiting in the bitter dark cold for Target to open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday, take heart: Now you can wait outside Target in the bitter dark cold at least six hours earlier.
The Minneapolis-based retailer said Friday that it will open at midnight on Nov. 25, joining a rush of retailers hoping for a strong start to the holiday shopping season.
"The holidays bring hectic schedules and tight budgets, so extending store hours ... makes Target a great choice for affordable one-stop holiday shopping," Tina Schiel, Target's executive vice president of stores, said.
The day after Thanksgiving, the traditional start to the holiday shopping season, is called Black Friday because retailers supposedly return to profitability -- going into the black.
The Mall of America in Bloomington also said Friday that it will open its doors at midnight, the first major mall in the United States to do so. The mall said 70 of its retailers will be ready for the onslaught.
Given the weak economy and low consumer confidence, retailers are pulling out the stops for the holiday shopping season, which can account for as much as two-thirds of annual sales.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. already has slashed prices on toys. Best Buy Co. Inc., based in Richfield, said it will extend its product return period to late January and offer shoppers a free extra month of Geek Squad support if they purchase a 12-month subscription.
Target said it's also extending its hours the day before and after Christmas. Stores will be open 7 a.m. to 7 or 8 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Dec. 26.
No word yet on what Santa thinks of this madness.
Thomas Lee • 612-673-4113