Why wait? After food, football - shopping!

Thanksgiving Shopping
Photo credit Getty

This evening Lakeside Mall in Metairie will throw open its doors and all stores participating in Thanksgiving night shopping will be open for business.

Thanksgiving, it's not just Turkey, football and food comas anymore.  With the shortest holiday shopping season upon us, it's about getting a jump on your Christmas shopping.

For more than a decade we've seen retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day. 

Marketing and Retail specialist Jim DeBetta says, "Today people actually plan for it. So I don't think it's a surprise, it's no-holds-barred anymore."

And opening early is also about strategy for retailers, according to DeBetta, "The retail landscape, because of the internet, the retailers want to find earlier and more adept ways at driving traffic in the stores."

Still, the decision to open on Thanksgiving is a major commitment by the retailer.  There are scheduling of employee considerations, commitments to holiday and/or overtime pay.  All factors have to be weighed—it's more than just flipping the storefront sign to 'open'.

"We found that it's basically their call if they want to open on Thanksgiving," says Thomas Jordan with the National Retail Federation.  "Or if they want to remain closed and offer those Black Friday specials. It really does depend on the those retailers."

More and more retailers are pushing their Black Friday sales ahead. Stores opening earlier on Thanksgiving don't do it just to help people get a jump on their holiday shopping.

DeBetta says they do it to get a jump on their competition, "Now it's by the hour.  It used to be they open up in the evenings at certain times.  Then one said 'I'm going to open up at six.'  Another said 'I'm going to open up at five.' Who knows?  We may see it opening up on Thanksgiving morning, I'm not sure, but it's coming."