Kmart to Open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving, Stay Open for 41 Hours

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Kmart Thanksgiving
AP
Kmart (SHLD) announced Monday that it will once again kick off its "Black Friday" at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and keep its stores open for 41 straight hours.

Opening on Thanksgiving has become this norm among many retailers this year, but most are choosing to do so late in the evening, usually around 8 p.m. As we've pointed out, this makes some sense for shoppers, who can wait until after Thanksgiving dinner to hit the mall (and then be back home to get to sleep at a reasonable hour).

But Kmart has never bought into the notion that Thanksgiving should be dedicated to food and family. This won't be the first time it's opened its doors to shoppers on the morning of Thanksgiving, but this year it will go a step further by keeping them open until late Friday night. That's a 41-hour marathon of shopping that it clearly hopes will give it a bigger slice of the Black Friday sales pie.

(Kmart isn't alone in this, to be fair -- Walmart (WMT) keeps many of its 24-hour stores open throughout Thanksgiving and Black Friday, avoiding the "doorbuster" crushes by putting some sale items aside until the designated hour.)

We can see where a few shoppers might happily take advantage of the early-morning opening -- you could head to the mall after sticking your turkey in the oven, for instance, or stop at a Kmart on the way to your cousins' place. But we're guessing that most people will respond negatively to the notion of a national holiday being entirely turned over to commerce.

And that's to say nothing of the Kmart employees who will staff the stores during hours when most people would prefer to be at home with their families eating turkey. Kmart emphasized in its announcement that "Stores are staffed with seasonal associates and those who have volunteered to work." But as a general rule, non-unionized retail employees don't really have a choice in the matter about working a holiday shift if there aren't enough volunteers.

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

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107 Comments

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Sherry

I work in retail. We will be open on Thanksgiving. I will be forced to work. This is not voluntary. Our corporate staff will be home enjoying Thanksgiving with their families. I will be standing behind a register for 8 hours on Thanksgiving. Corporate directors are not the only ones to blame. If shoppers stayed home with their families on Thanksgiving, we would be closed that day.

November 06 2013 at 5:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Neville

This has gotten sick and out of hand. Corprate America has gone greedy and forgotten the reason for the season!

November 05 2013 at 6:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jhfabricast

Soon to join the likes of Montgomery Wards, Pennys not far behind either.

November 05 2013 at 5:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dajewelman

In my household we have made a list of all the anouncements regarding stores being open on thanksgiving and we will NOT shop there for the entire year.

November 05 2013 at 3:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
pm0501

Seems like there's more former Kmart buildings than there are actual Kmarts! All three of ours have closed and many more in between are long gone. Kmart even went out of their way to trash Sears after buying them out. No guts to stand up to Walmart.

November 05 2013 at 2:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ferg4us9

A great comment I saw: Thanksgiving is the day we express gratitude for all that we have. Black Friday is the day we decide its not enough.

November 05 2013 at 2:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Andre

LOL does it even matter if KMart is open?! Who shops there??

November 05 2013 at 1:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hattie54

My KMart is a nice one but I rarely go there.The best part is the lines are pretty short.

November 05 2013 at 12:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
GateMasterSavage

Ridiculous sums it up pretty good.

November 05 2013 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sheila

Kmart is failing. This won't help

November 04 2013 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Sheila's comment
willypfistergash

yeah...the worst thing for downward trending sales is selling more stuff.

November 05 2013 at 12:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply