News Feature | October 17, 2014

Macy's Doubles Holiday Workforce, Announces Earliest Black Friday Hours Yet

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

By Brianna Ahearn, contributing writer

Macy’s Doubles Workforce

Macy's shoppers will have a chance to get their bargain deals a little earlier this Black Friday. It seems every year retailers announce new hours for Black Friday shopping, and Macy's was the first retailer to state their new earlier hours. This week, Macy's announced consumers can begin shopping on Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. The news was reported by Time.com and other news outlets, and confirmed by the retailer. The Black Friday hours are two hours earlier than the retailer's 2013's Thanksgiving Day opening time of 8 p.m.

Earlier this month, Macy's announced they would be doubling their workforce in anticipation of the holidays, with a plan to hire 86,000 seasonal workers for Macy's and Macy's-owned Bloomingdales, a 3.6% over 2013's hiring numbers. The retailer told The Huffington Post that the Thanksgiving shifts were already taken by volunteers, and that the company was offering “incentive pay” for opening shifts.  CBNC reports that Macy's will pay time and a half to the Thanksgiving day workers, and that workers have expressed appreciation for the chance to work on Thanksgiving and receive Black Friday off.”

A Macy's spokesperson, Holly Thomas, said the flagship store located in New York City's Herald Square had 15,000 shoppers waiting for the doors to open. It was the first year Macy's was open on Thanksgiving. The retailer's success last year likely prompted the earlier hours this Black Friday. Last year, Walmart also opened at 6 p.m. and according to the retailer, processed more than 10 million transactions at their stores' registers. As we get closer to Halloween, more retailers should be announcing their holiday shopping hours. The Black Friday fight for customers is now in full swing, and time will tell which retailers match Macy's hours, and perhaps, open even earlier. Macy's says most of their stores will be open to 10 p.m. on Black Friday.

Each year, retailers get into the “Black Friday creep,” offering earlier hours than the year before, in a bid to get shoppers coming into their doors. In the 1990's, retailers were expected to be closed on Thanksgiving, but the “always open” online retailers have changed that mentality.  As shopping grows in popularity online brick and mortar stores are competing by offering earlier deals around Thanksgiving and Christmas. In 2011, Toys R' Us threw down the gauntlet, opening at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and since then, retailers have been upping the ante in a frenzied bid to draw customers into their stores.  Websites such as TheBlackFriday.com are reporting Macy's won't be alone on Thanksgiving day with earlier hours – Best Buy and Walmart are expected to open the same hours, and they predict Kmart will be open even earlier, with a rumored 8 a.m. opening time on Thanksgiving.