Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Thanksgiving is just two weeks away but retailers are already looking forward to what comes after.
Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year and this year it’s starting earlier than ever.
On Thursday, Walmart announced that it will open before your supper has barely settled.
The world’s largest retailer will open its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. They are promising deep price cuts on a handful of items for a special hour-long event inside the store that evening.
It’s just a preview of what’s to come. This year, shoppers are expecting some of the best discounts yet.
Even now, stores are quietly preparing for their stormiest days of the year, the three-day period following Thanksgiving.
“It’s going to be a whole new learning curve for us – lot of tenants, new restaurants, new attractions on the third floor,” said Destiny USA General Manager Rob Schoeneck.
With the Canyon Area expansion, Schoeneck chose to do things differently this year. All stores and most restaurants are opening up at midnight, just hours after most shoppers have had their Thanksgiving dinner.
"We staffed up housekeeping; we staffed up security; we've got a lot of programs in place to get us ready for the holiday season, so we think we're ready,” Schoeneck said.
Shoppers can expect more deals than ever, as stores pull out all the stops.
Analysts expect online retailers to play an even more significant role this year.
"Even though store growth sales still account for the majority of sales we talk about online...and we should because of its increasing importance,” said Amanda Nicholson of the Whitman School of Management.
This year, more and more shoppers are doing something called “showrooming” that's when they go in stores like these and then they use their cell phone to compare prices to those in the store and online.
And, in an effort to keep up with technology, big retailers like Best Buy and Target, are using tactics of their own to keep customers from straying.
"Many retailers are fighting back. If you like saying we'll match those prices, you come show us at checkout and we'll come match those because they're smart and think we don't want to lose a consumer whose already in our store,” Nicholson said.
But buyers should beware, consumer watchdogs found that there are many restrictions on price matching.
Many stores only have a specific list of websites that they match. They may also limit price matching to certain items like electronics.
Best Buy’s online price match applies to 20 stores. Target’s price matches apply to five: BebiesRUs.com, BestBuy.com, Amazon.com, ToysRUs.com, Walmart.com.
Their offer expires on Dec. 16.