These Retailers are Racing to the Bottom for Black Friday

PresentDespite pledging to the contrary, even J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) will offer promotions for Black Friday shoppers.

Amid increasing concerns over its financial viability, the retailer has forgone its non-coupon pricing strategy and decided to hold its only sale of the year beginning at 6 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving.

“Black Friday is America’s greatest shopping tradition and we’re celebrating the occasion with our only sale of the year,” said the company’s Chief Executive Ron Johnson in a statement. “All day long, customers will find some of our lowest prices ever.”

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But J.C. Penny’s announcement makes it a late, and somewhat tame, entrant to the holiday shopping season. As the month of December is a peak season for retailers, companies like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT) are looking to edge out competitors with earlier store openings, product guarantees, and doorbusters.

Target has announced that Black Friday shopping will begin at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving. This timing will give “Target’s Black Friday guests a more convenient way to create an after-dinner shopping event that the entire family can enjoy,” said Kathee Tesija, the executive vice president of merchandising, to Fox Business. The retailer will also offer doorbusters, beginning at 4 in the morning.

Doorbusters will be available at Toys ‘R’ Us from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Black Friday, Wal-Mart and Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) will begin holiday specials at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and Macy’s (NYSE:M) and Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) will open at midnight on Friday.

Even Amazon has plans to attract holiday shoppers; on November 1, the online retailer announced its Black Friday deals store, which offers deals ahead of Black Friday.

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