LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It used to be shoppers would wait until the day after Thanksgiving to hit the stores. Now, they won't even wait around to clear the table.
While some chains – like Dillard’s, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Barnes & Noble, Pieratt’s, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Bed Bath & Beyond – will keep their stores closed all day on Thanksgiving, many others are joining the crowd opening on the holiday.
Many stores at Lexington’s Fayette Mall opened at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving. Among the evening store openings will be major retailers such as Dick's Sporting Goods, JCPenney, Macy's and Sears. At midnight, many of the stores in the mall that didn’t open earlier joined the list of places to shop all night.
Outside the mall, other retailers such as Fan Outfitters and Kohl’s jumped into the 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving openings while Best Buy stores got an even earlier jump by opening at 6 p.m. and Toys R Us at 5 p.m.
Black Friday has long reigned above all holiday shopping days. Now, a new generation of consumers appears to be pushing the calendar for more retailers beyond 24-hour stores Walmart and Meijer to open their doors.
“Millennials and young adults have really been the ones leading the way for this Thanksgiving night shopping tradition,” said Kathy Grannis of the National Retail Federation. “It's a lot easier for people this age to ditch the dishes.”
Thursday isn't the new black yet, but Thanksgiving is expected to bring in a lot of green.
“We know last year 35 million shoppers were out, in stores and shopping online on Thanksgiving day, and we're fully expecting to see just as many people this year,” said Grannis.
That's still a fraction of the 97 million shoppers expected on Black Friday. But an increasing number of retailers are acknowledging the earlier kickoff.