Shoppers & Retailers Prepare For Beginning Of Holiday Shopping Season

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Days away from Thanksgiving, retailers are already battling for your business. This year, more stores aren’t even waiting for Black Friday to launch their sales–they’re starting Thursday night!

Kai Jackson has the push to get holiday shopping started.

Retailers have discovered a simple principle: if you open the doors early, shoppers will come.

Retailers across the nation are gearing up for a holiday shopping frenzy.

Amanda Wolford is doing early shopping with her daughters.

“I actually came to pay on one of my layaways and I’m just gonna let ’em browse around and see if they want anything extra,” Wolford said.

Stores like a Toys ‘R’ Us in Essex have moved the needle on the start of the season. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, it’s one of several with hours on Thanksgiving Day.

“Typically the place where the person shops first is the place where they spend the most money,” said Ellen Davis, National Retail Federation.

Retailers say they’re starting holiday shopping earlier because customers are demanding it.

“There’s a bunch of retailers opening. The guests are telling us they want us to open so they can get their shopping started early,” said Toys ‘R’ Us manager Allyson Koteski.

Many stores rely on end-of-year receipts for the holidays to put them in the black. The Retailers’ Association says businesses see Thanksgiving Day as an opportunity to make up lost ground.

Retailers are predicting a two-and-a-half to three percent increase in sales this holiday season over last year.

“Consumers have confidence in the economy. The economy is starting to recover slowly and people are willing to come out and shop,” said Patrick Donoho, Maryland Retailers’ Association.

Retailers say with so much competition, shoppers should look for and find good deals.

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