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Target's holiday sales strategy: Start Black Friday deals early

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Retail giant Target is rolling out an aggressive strategy for the holiday shopping season in a bid to boost its sales and reputation, which have both taken a beating since last year's huge data breach.

The Minneapolis-based department store chain is kicking off the season by offering nine of its Black Friday deals early. The sale last until 11 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 10, and customers need to order the items at Target's website and pick them up in person at a store within four days.

Another presale of a few Black Friday deals will take place on the day before Thanksgiving.

As for the brick-and-mortar operations, Target said it will open its stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, two hours earlier than last year, to officially begin the holiday shopping season. All the in-store deals will also be available online, beginning Thanksgiving morning.

“Not everyone wants to wait until Black Friday to start shopping,” Kathee Tesija, Target’s chief merchandising and supply chain officer, told the Associated Press.

This is the first time Target has offered presales on its Black Friday deals. And in another first, the retailer says it will sell its gift cards at a 10 percent discount from 6 a.m. to noon on the day after Thanksgiving, with a $300 limit for each customer.

It's all an effort to attract more sales, which have been sluggish ever since the massive theft of customer information last December. The retail market is very competitive, and many other chains are also ramping up their holiday sales campaigns.

Just in the past few days, Kohl's and Macy's announced they would be open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day as well. The new Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan is also opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, manager Peter Lund told the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

And Kmart will welcome shoppers all day on the holiday – they're opening their stores at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Here's a list of store hours on Thanksgiving weekend for several of the nation's major retailers.

Employees at some of these stores have been waging an unsuccessful campaign against Thanksgiving Day openings, saying it disrupts their own holiday plans, the Business Journal notes.

Hourly workers at Target are paid time and a half for working on holidays, and the company said those who work certain shifts on Thanksgiving and Black Friday will receive additional compensation on top of holiday pay.

The news release from Target has a complete list of all the discounts and specials.

Maybe we need to come up with a different term, since Black Friday isn't just a one-day thing anymore.

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