Make no mistake --- the stores are still making money.
Once upon a time, Black Friday was the only game in town when it came to door-buster holiday deals. Now, the sales start on Thanksgiving in stores and online. "The turf is changing now and retailers are making it more convenient for the consumer to shop in the way that works best for them," says RetailMeNot Senior Editor Trae Bodge.
Convenient? Yes. A true deal? Maybe not. The Wall Street Journal calls Black Friday a carefully engineered illusion. Analysts say big retailers work backward. With their suppliers, they mark up the original price so even after deep discounts, they get the profit margins they want.
But it appears bargain-hunters aren't sweating the details ? 97 million shoppers are expected to make purchases on Black Friday. And in an attempt to be trendy, more than half of all retailers will offer some sort of deals on Thursday -- a phenomenon pushed mostly by one particular generation
"Millennials and young adults have really been the ones leading the way for this Thanksgiving night shopping tradition. It's a lot easier for people this age to ditch the dishes," says National Retail Federation spokesperson Kathy Grannis.
Around 35 million people shopped on Thanksgiving last year, either in stores or online. And let us not forget ? 8 out of 10 retailers save their best website specials for Cyber Monday, December 2.