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Thanksgiving 2012 - Turkey with a side of shopping

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Many Michigander plans to mix turkey and shopping today.   But one Michigan State University professor believes it’s a delicate balance for retailers.

It used to be that large crowds lined up in the early hours the day after Thanksgiving to jam Michigan stores and take advantage of Black Friday sales.

No more.

Walmart, Target and other major retailers plan to open this evening, well before midnight, barely giving many Michiganders time to digest their turkey dinners before starting on their holiday shopping lists.

Patricia Huddleston is an MSU marketing professor. She believes retailers have to be careful not to push the clock too far.

“I believe there has to be some family time…retailers have to be cognizant of the PR value of allowing consumers to spend time with their family,” says Huddleston.

Huddleston says part of the reason for major retailers opening earlier and earlier is the fear of losing sales to other bricks and mortar stores and online competitors.

Some shoppers may try to have their turkey and ‘door busting’ savings too.  Many retailers are offering Black Friday sales incentives to their online customers this evening.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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