Black Friday 2011 kicks off a day early as stores open on Thanksgiving evening to give shoppers more time to cash in on doorbuster deals at retailers nationwide.
The first stores to open will be Walmart and Toys "R" Us, which both are set to open doors at 10 p.m. Thursday.
"Our customers told us they would rather stay up late to shop than get up early, so we're going to hold special events on Thanksgiving and Black Friday," Duncan Mac Naughton, Walmart's Chief Merchandising Officer, U.S., said in a statement.
Walmart, however, will not offer deals on all products Thursday evening, rather the retailer will stagger deals throughout Thursday and Friday.
Only toys, home and apparel items will be on sale Thursday at Walmart. Electronics will be discounted at midnight and the entire store will have deals beginning at 8 a.m. Friday.
Shoppers have other options for electronics, however, as other stores open their doors at midnight. Both Best Buy and Target plan to open at midnight.
Shoppers can also find deals on clothing and other items from department stores at midnight. Macy’s, Kohl’s and Old Navy also are slated to open at midnight.
The early hours are customer-driven, store officials have said.
"People want to shop through the night," Macy’s Executive Vice President Martine Reardon told The Associated Press.
Nonetheless, some retailers are retaining more traditional Black Friday store hours this year.
Sears and JCPenney are slated to open at 4 a.m. Friday, an hour ahead of most other retailers.
Kmart and Babies "R" Us are set to open at 5 a.m., while other retailers, like Office Max and Staples, plan to open doors to shoppers at 6 a.m.
Many stores, including Walmart, are offering a slew of online deals to give shoppers yet another way to get discounted items without setting foot in a store this Black Friday.