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Sears won’t open on Thanksgiving: Customers didn’t want ‘to get up at midnight’

Updated: December 13, 2011 9:05AM

Sears stores will open at 4 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving, reversing last year’s decision to open on Thanksgiving Day. Sears stores will remain closed this Thanksgiving Day to give their store employees and their families the ability to celebrate the holiday, the company announced Friday.

“Sears listened to customers who said they didn’t want to be forced to get up at midnight to get the best deals,” said Tom Aiello, a spokesman for Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp., which owns Sears and Kmart. “Also, with more customers going online to do their holiday shopping, we’ve seen an increased use of our online tools like the ‘buy online, pick up in store’ function, which let customers pre-purchase items — and access Black Friday deals — from the comfort of their homes and conveniently pick them up in-store.”

Sears joins other retailers opening their doors in the wee hours the day after Thanksgiving to attract bargain seekers and shoppers intent on maintaining holiday store camp-out rituals.

After the 4 a.m. Friday opening, Sears stores will close at 9 p.m. on the day after Thanksgiving.

Kmart, which has opened on Thanksgiving Day for 20 years, will do so again this year. Kmart stores will open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. the day after Thanksgiving.

In the past week, several retailers have announced they will open Thanksgiving evening, hoping to attract shoppers who’ve finished Thanksgiving dinner and cannot wait to use their coupons or race each other for the hottest toy in limited quantities.

Wal-Mart will open at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving evening.

Among retailers announcing midnight openings Thanksgiving night and into Friday morning are Macy’s, Kohl’s, Target, Best Buy, Hhgregg and Carson Pirie Scott. Black Friday is so named because it’s traditionally when many retailers see the red ink on their books turn a profit, or go into the black.

A survey by Harris Interactive for e-tailer Ebates found that 87 percent of Americans buy most of their holiday gifts in December rather than around Thanksgiving.

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