Retailers trump Thanksgiving with Black Thursday

FULLERTON, Md. - For many shoppers, like Katie Rivera of White Marsh, Black Friday has become a tradition.

"My sister and I and her mother-in-law get up early, eat breakfast and just kind of hit whatever store."

But this year, it could be a tradition buster.

The pursuit of heavily discounted televisions, jewelry and Christmas items is big business, so Kmart is turning back the clock---offering Black Friday door busters not once, but thrice starting at six in the morning on Thursday.

That's right.

Thanksgiving Day.

"We're running an event on Thursday morning Thanksgiving Day," said Fullerton Store Manager Mike Sommer, "We're going to close the store at four and re-open with another event Thursday evening at 8 o'clock.  Then we're going to close the store again at three in the morning and then reopen with another major event at five o'clock in the morning on Friday."

While ringing in the Christmas shopping season early will drown out Thanksgiving for some, others are standing by their bird with all the trimmings.

"I think that's terrible.  I think these people need to be with their families.  It's awful," said Alison Garloff of Dundalk.

"I'm going to be in my house because it's cold outside," added Jaki Grier of Joppatowne.

"I'll spend the extra 10 bucks and stay home on Thanksgiving," said Rivera, who is a Black Friday regular.

But there are plenty of people who will want to save that 10 bucks, and in the fierce competition for retail sales, businesses like Kmart are betting that after shoppers feast on big bargains Thursday morning, they'll also want a second and even a third helping.

"We'll have crowds for each and every one of them.  We'll have lines.  We'll be handing out tickets for the door busters," said Sommer, "We're looking forward to it."

Other retailers like Sears, Wal-Mart and Target are luring shoppers with bargains Thursday evening, and many will follow up Black Friday with Saturday sales.

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