Black Friday comes earlier and earlier every year in the United States with many stores opening on Thursday night, which is a trend known as “Black Friday creep.”
As Statista's Sarah Feldman notes, the move towards Thanksgiving evening store openings started after two years of disappointing sales following the Great Recession in 2008.
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By 2011, Target and Macy’s moved their store openings to the stroke of midnight and Wal-Mart pushed their opening to Thursday evening at 10 PM.
In subsequent years, all three retailers have moved their store openings to Thanksgiving evening.
The competition to open the doors for the Black Friday doorbuster deals have pushed ahead each year, with each competitor trying to open earlier than the next. This year both Macy’s and Target opened at 5 PM, while Wal-Mart opened at 6 PM.