Thanksgiving Day is for eating turkey, watching football and, apparently, shopping at lower-end retailers.
While much has been made in the media about retailers opening their doors at midnight to grab their share from shoppers' wallets, several retailers that cater to people with the tightest budgets will be open all day.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Executives and analysts alike have said the fight for shopper dollars is more intense this year in a tough job market and uncertain economy. The National Retail Federation expects retail sales to up 2.8 percent this season, below last year's 5.2 percent clip.
Chains that cater to shoppers on the tightest budget stand to lose the most, analysts said.
They want to make sure they are getting consumer dollars before anyone else, said Kurt Salmon retail strategist Megan Donadio. Retailers want to do whatever they can to make sure what consumers do spend is spent with them.
Low-price retailer Ross Stores Inc's
How high the stakes are for low-cost chains is made clear by the varying strategies retailers take for different chains within their portfolios.
Gap will only welcome shoppers at some Gap and Banana Republic stores, and Sears decided this year to revert to its usual 4 a.m. opening on Black Friday after finding limited interest last year in its Thanksgiving hours as shoppers stayed home and shopped online instead.
Still, even middlebrow chains like Macy's Inc
One holdout is J.C. Penney Co Inc
At the other end of the spectrum, high-end retailers have felt no pressure to change store hours. Most of Macy's Bloomingdale's stores are again opening at 8 a.m. on Black Friday, while Nordstrom Inc
Still, Nordstrom-owned daily deals site Haute Look found high end shoppers started looking for deals and buying earlier this year, its CEO Adam Bernard told Reuters on Thursday.
The competition remains most intense for shoppers of the most modest means. Target on Wednesday said Wal-Mart's layaway program, revived this year after a five-year hiatus, was hurting its toy sales.
They want to get the best deal, get the most merchandise at the best price, to take advantage of that frenzy. So they are going to get up earlier, stay up late or do whatever it takes, said Janet Hoffman, managing director of Accenture's retail practice.
(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York, additional reporting by Brad Dorfman in Chicago and Dhanya Skariachan in New York)