Walmart's Black Friday 2012 Will Start at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving

Walmart Black FridayBlack Friday sales have been starting earlier and earlier every year, and in recent years, a few brave retailers have broken the midnight threshold to open their doors late in the evening on Thanksgiving. On Thursday morning, Walmart (WMT) threw down a new gauntlet: It announced it would open its doors at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving evening.

That's the earliest the nation's biggest retailer has ever opened for Black Friday. So far, Walmart is only being matched this year by Sears (SHLD), which also announced an 8 p.m. Thursday opening in its circular. However, some other major chains have yet to announce their Black Friday plans, so we wouldn't be surprised to see some of Walmart's other competitors announce similar hours in the name of keeping up with the Waltons.
Will you be heading to the stores on Thanksgiving night?
You bet, I'll be there when doors open at 8pm.1 (20.0%)
No, it's family time.1 (20.0%)
I'm going to do my Black Friday shopping online.1 (20.0%)
And miss football? You must be joking.1 (20.0%)
After turkey, the only thing I'll head to is a pillow.1 (20.0%)

The 8 p.m. opening is probably not so early that it will interfere with anyone's traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but early enough to preempt another Thanksgiving custom: Watching football. While the day's earlier games in Detroit and Dallas won't lose viewers to the sales, the traditional post-dinner evening game -- this year, a matchup between the New England Patriots and New York Jets -- kicks off at 8:30 p.m. And that means, in some households, gathering around the TV in a post-turkey daze will be replaced by lining up at the local Walmart to grab the best deals.

And there are certainly some terrific deals to be had for those willing to skip the game, or whatever other activity you used to enjoy in your tryptophan haze. Walmart's announcement mentions a number of doorbuster deals, including an LG Blu-ray player for $38, an Emerson 32-inch TV for $148 and an Apple iPad 2 plus a $75 Walmart gift card for $399.

While doorbusters are usually limited in quantity, Walmart says that for those three products in particular, it can guarantee supplies will last for all shoppers in the store or in line between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Other deals include the Nintendo Wii for $89 (not to be confused the next-generation Wii U, arriving Nov. 18) and a six-quart Crock Pot for under $10.

In the Black Friday circular posted to its site, Sears features a 32-inch TV for just $97 and 50% off cases for the Nook Simple Touch for Thanksgiving night shoppers. Those who show up on Friday -- starting as early as 4 a.m. -- can get a 9.99 Craftsman electric drill/screwdriver.

While the early start to shopping will rub some traditionalists the wrong way, it's worth noting that an 8 p.m. opening has at least one advantage over the midnight opening: It let's shoppers grab their deals and still get to bed at a reasonable hour. On the other hand, Walmart employees working that day will have less time to spend with their families on Thanksgiving. That's sure to further aggravate employees already threatening to walk off the job on Black Friday in protest of working conditions.

Note: A previous version of this article indicated that the Sears' Black Friday was unconfirmed to this point. The article was updated at 3:22 p.m. to reflect the fact that the ad has been posted to Sears' official site.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

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Fred Mayes

This is U.S. freedom at work. A wise man once said, "Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial." Sadly, the U.S. seems to be headed down doing everything that's allowed without considering whether it is for the good of individuals or society.

November 22 2012 at 9:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am sorry but this is totally disgusting, Thanksgiving, the one non sectarian, non religious day favored by so mnay is now being even further encroached upon and many wokers will now be either forced or "compelled" to work so that they will be considered good employees. At this rate by next year we may have the whole day taken over by profit hungry corporate America.
i read that Lincoln made Thanksgiving this permanent day, maybe instead of shopping we all go see the movie?

November 22 2012 at 8:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Stores seem to be opening earlier and earlier. Check out this awesome infographic about some of the history and numbers behind Black Friday:

November 20 2012 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thanksgiving dates, 2012–2022
November 22, 2012
November 28, 2013
November 27, 2014
November 26, 2015
November 24, 2016
November 23, 2017
November 22, 2018
November 28, 2019
November 26, 2020
November 25, 2021
November 24, 2022

November 20 2012 at 9:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Cheryl Petersen

You don't have to go to Walmart. There are better things to do.

November 20 2012 at 6:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

November 12 2012 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lady G

All those people who whine about the poor, downtrodden retail workers are hypocrites. Have you been whining about the hundreds of thousands of people who miss Thanksgiving so that you can watch football all day? I didn't think so. The players at least make obscene amounts of money, the guy who is stuck in the concession stand or the woman who is at the ticket box at the stadium instead of at home with their families. Americans are THE BIGGEST hypocrites on the planet. I work retail, I will be working Thanksgiving night. Luckily, the retailer I work foris closed all day on Thanksgiving Day, pays holiday pay (time & a half), plus shift differential. I hate football, don't have family in my city so I can have a quiet day with my husband & cats, then go to work. Don't want to work or shop, don't, but STOP with the hypocrisy.

November 10 2012 at 7:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lady G

Just so people know, MOST Walmart stores will be OPEN all day Thanksgiving, they don't even close for a few hours, other than Christmas Day & Easter. The Black Friday deals will start at 8:00 pm, but most of the stores will already be open.

November 10 2012 at 7:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I will not be shopping at Walmart Thanksgiving day. Give me a break.

November 10 2012 at 5:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Total greed.

November 10 2012 at 4:16 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply