Retail Store Opts Out of Black Friday

Will you or won't you be shopping on thanksgiving and Black Friday this year? It's a debate pitting the traditional Thanksgiving holiday against big bargains and crowded stores.

No matter when you choose to hit the mall, people are expected to spend an average of $800 dollars for their holiday shopping this year.

But more stores are taking a stand over whether they'll open up on Thanksgiving.

Black Friday seems to come, earlier and earlier every year.

"We have some other deals and early Black Friday deals starting now, starting today," said Michelle Gains with Best Buy in Pineville.

Best Buy will open its doors at 5 pm on Thanksgiving Day its second year in a row.

"We did it last year and we had a ton of customers who came in. That validated that our customers wanted to come in and shop on Thanksgiving Day and not necessarily wait until Black Friday," said Gains.

But another retail store - REI - is doing the opposite.

It's opting out of Black Friday altogether and inviting its customers to do the same.

"Thanksgiving is about family and doing things with family. I think opting out and having the option to do things outside with family over a holiday like that is an awesome approach. They should be commended for that," said Gary Swanson, a shopper at REI.

But some people don't have the luxury of choosing how to spend their holidays, especially those whose employers are open for business on Turkey Day or the day after.

"I work in the morning so I have the whole day to myself. As long as I’m not working all day, that's fine," said Avis Neely who will be working both Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

"I think I have to be at work at 9 o'clock Black Friday and will be there for 8-10 hours. Working and not shopping," said Taylor Wise who will be working Black Friday.

REI says it plans to opt out of Black Friday for the foreseeable future. The company did not reveal how much revenue it expects to lose.

Brick and mortar stores aren't the only places shoppers will be spending their money. According to the National Retail Federation, nearly half of holiday shopping is online. They forecast 105 billion dollars will be spent on those online sales this season.