Target Corp. has extended Black Friday as far into Thanksgiving Day as it wants. Now, it’s trying to get people to shop more often before and after the so-called biggest shopping day of the year.
The Minneapolis-based retailer said Monday that it would open its stores for Black Friday specials at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening, the same time as it did last year.
The news came as Target and several other retailers — including Sports Authority, J.C. Penney, Walgreens and Toys ‘R’ Us — published their Black Friday advertisements online.
Since 2012, when Target and rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. first started opening on Thanksgiving evening, the companies gradually pushed opening time up. Last year’s opening was Target’s earliest yet, and executives said Monday they believed it was a “sweet spot.”
“Every year we take into consideration what the guest is looking for, what we see in competitiveness,” Tina Tyler, Target’s chief of stores, told reporters in a conference call. “It felt really good to us last year to allow family traditions to take place but also let shopping be part of it.”
Macy’s and Sears also will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Several other big retailers, including Wal-Mart and Best Buy, have yet to announce their Black Friday opening plans.
Target this year is spreading out its holiday shopping deals with daily promotions that begin Nov. 22, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and continue until Dec. 1. Those deals will be structured by product category, with apparel one day, electronics another and so on, the company said.
Target’s Black Friday deals will be available on its website on Thanksgiving morning, several hours before stores open.
Tyler said Target will still try to entice shoppers to visit its stores on Black Friday itself with a special incentive: A shopper who spends more than $75 on that day will get a coupon for 20 percent off an entire purchase made at Target between Dec. 4 and 13.
“I don’t think we’d say we’re shifting away” from Black Friday, Tyler said. “We’re adding to. It’s about getting more trips from the guests. We’re really looking at how do we fill more needs of the guests vs. trying to put them all into one spot.”
In posting the ad for Black Friday — which will run in newspapers closer to the day itself — the company unveiled some of its lowest prices ever on TVs and video game consoles. For instance, Target will offer a 55-inch Westinghouse LED TV for $249, well below its regular price of $599. It will give a $100 Target gift card to buyers of any Apple Watch on that day, too.
Tyler said Target also consulted with employees in arriving at the 6 p.m. opening time on Thanksgiving evening. Target pays its hourly workers 50 percent more than on a normal day for holiday work. It will offer another bonus to employees who work from midnight to noon on Black Friday itself.