If it's Thanksgiving, it must be time to shop

Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:24pm EST
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By Brad Dorfman

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Forget the turkey and the football -- if it's Thanksgiving Day, why aren't you shopping?

U.S. retailers, trying to squeeze every extra cent out of shoppers, are open on Thursday for Thanksgiving, trying to get a jump on the holiday shopping season.

Among the retailers that will open on Thursday are Wal-Mart Stores Inc's U.S. discount stores, 850 of Gap Inc's Old Navy stores as well as some of its Gap and Banana Republic stores; and Sears Holdings Corp's namesake department stores and Kmart discount stores.

For shoppers, it is a chance to find some early deals on electronics and clothes to fill the lull before the holiday meal or to avoid the throngs that will shop on "Black Friday" -- the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.

"I'm actually kind of bored so I'm killing time, trying to catch some bargains," Vonney Brown, 40, of Bayonne, New Jersey, said at a Sears in the Newport Center Mall in Jersey City, where there appeared to be as many employees as customers at midday on Thursday.

"I'm not coming out on Black Friday," said Brown, who was joined by his wife and two children. "You got to be out of your mind."

For retailers, opening the stores amounts to extra sales at the start of what is expected to be the best holiday shopping season since 2007 -- before falling home prices, tight credit and soaring unemployment forced consumers to cut spending.

The holiday season is essential for many retailers, who depend on it for a big part of their profits for the year.   Continued...

<p>Holiday shoppers walk through Time's Square in New York November 27, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>