Walmart (WMT) will try to pick up its holiday sales by remaining opened on Thanksgiving. Sears (SHLD) will match that. The sanctity of Thanksgiving may be violated, but Walwart and Sears will have a head start on their rivals.
If the moves smacks of desperation, that's because it is. Same-store sales have fallen at most chains since the recession began. Some of that ground has been reclaimed this year, but not nearly enough to get back to 2007 levels. Industry groups expect sales to rise between 2% and 3% for the 2010 holiday season, but it won't take much in the way of recession fears and continued unemployment to chip away at the number.
Retailers are apparently will to do anything to avoid getting a lump of coal in their stockings again this year.