Black Friday is starting earlier and earlier -- here's when the holiday shopping season kicks off this year

Black fridayRob Stothard/Getty ImagesBlack Friday is morphing into a week-long affair — at least.
  • Black Friday 2017 is officially on November 24.
  • However, Black Friday sales are starting earlier and extending longer than they have in years past.

Pinpointing the official start time of Black Friday 2017 is like trying to hit a moving target.

If we’re going by the traditional definition of Black Friday, the day — which has basically reached holiday status itself — starts the day after Thanksgiving, on Friday, November 24.

However, many retailers start their in-store Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day — or earlier.

JCPenney, for example, is opening stores at 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and staying open for 32 straight hours. Kohl’s is kicking off online Black Friday sales three full days before Thanksgiving, on Monday, November 20. And, Target already allowed customers to shop its Black Friday sales for a single day on Monday, November 6.

The concept of Black Friday as a single day, where customers line up outside waiting for the clock to strike midnight, is basically dead at this point.

“I think the traditionalists will have a hard time stomaching that,” Josh Elman, a consumer and retail analyst with Nasdaq Advisory Services, told Business Insider. “But I think at the end of the day … the whole idea and concept of Black Friday deals in store will diminish over time.”

Instead, Black Friday sales extend over the entire week around Thanksgiving. Discounts and sales have become the norm year-round, making Black Friday sales less crucial for bargain shoppers. Plus, online sales on Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and throughout the holiday season have made it possible to avoid the crowds that flood retailers the day after Thanksgiving.

In other words, Black Friday may be November 24 this year — but Black Friday sales are no longer one-day-only deals.

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