BLOOMINGTON — Holiday shoppers don’t have to risk their lives stampeding to the electronics department at 5 a.m. on Black Friday to buy a big-screen TV at a crazy-low price.
With retailers battling for consumer dollars at the start of the nation’s shopping season, Black Friday has become a week-long event.
“It’s an all-out fight for the dollar on Friday … Take advantage of other people being (closed on Thursday),” said John Beardon, director of Meijer in Normal.
To gain competitive advantage, Meijer decided not to wait until Friday to offer bargain-bin discounts on new merchandise. The sale starts Thursday.
“We’re expecting Friday-type business Thursday morning,” Beardon said Tuesday.
Other stores aren’t waiting either.
The Macy’s at Bloomington’s Eastland Mall kicked of its Thanksgiving sales Tuesday with storewide discounts of 25 to 50 percent through today.
Other stores are opening late Thanksgiving night, around midnight, to accommodate people who want to sleep late Friday, said Pete Gill, spokesman for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.
“I know personally, after getting up at 6 a.m. everyday to go to work, on my day off, I’m not getting up at 5 a.m. to go shop,” he said. “Some consumers may be sick of getting up real early on Black Friday.”