Retailers Hope 'Gray Thursday' Boosts Bottom Line

Play associated audio

You are not imagining it, the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season starts earlier and earlier. Black Friday has been around for decades — that's the point where retailers hope to begin to make a profit.

Shoppers looking to get a jump on deals can shop on Gray Thursday – think Black Friday intruding into Thanksgiving Day.

This Turkey Day, many national chains will open their doors early in an effort to boost sales. K-Mart opened at 6 a.m.

To find out more about the early shopping frenzy, Morning Edition host David Greene, talks to Mark Ellwood, author of Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World.

"I am fascinated to see the creep," says Ellwood, who admits he will be sitting out this first Gray Thursday.

He says it was just two years ago when stores were opening at 12:01 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving, and it was "scandalous."

Is it worth leaving your turkey in the oven to go shopping?

"Much like outlet malls," Elwood says, "Black Friday isn't full of true bargains."

He says it's best to check with a clerk to see when the merchandise arrived. If it's been around for a while, there's a chance you're saving because it is being marked down over time. But if the items just arrived, they could be inexpensive but not a real bargain.

Predictions for next year?

"There really is a movement to try and protect Thanksgiving and not transform it into Gray Thursday, but I guarantee, next year, we'll see someone opening at 12:01 a.m. on Thanksgiving," Ellwood says.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

For A Female Banker At The Top Of Her Game, What Does It Take To Stay There?

In the film Equity, investment banker Naomi Bishop navigates the male-dominated world of Wall Street. Screenwriter Amy Fox discusses the film and her research, which included many interviews with women who worked on Wall Street.
NPR

Salvage Supperclub: A High-End Dinner In A Dumpster To Fight Food Waste

The ingredients — think wilted basil, bruised plums, garbanzo bean water — sound less than appetizing. Whipped together, they're a tasty meal that show how home cooks can use often-tossed foods.
NPR

LISTEN: At The DNC, We Asked Women Why They Were Voting For Clinton

We asked women — as young as 4 and as old as 77 — how much the weight of history factored into their decision.
NPR

Hackers Break Into Another Democratic Party Computer System

The DNC's congressional campaign arm is the latest hacking victim. Investigators say the breach is similar to other recent incidents and that they believe Russia is the likely culprit.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.