Saturday, Thanksgiving Sales Could Take Some Steam From Black Friday

Last Updated Nov 27, 2009 2:18 PM EST

Black Friday is gaining a ton of media attention, as it does every year. Considered one of the biggest shopping days of the holiday season, it's hard not to take notice of the throngs of shoppers lined up at stores at ungodly hours of the morning.

But retailers wanting to take advantage of bargain-hungry consumers in a weak sales environment aren't just betting on Black Friday any more. Many are turning to Saturday and even made marketing pushes on Thanksgiving itself this year.

Walmart is rolling out deals on the Saturday after. The discouter will offer exclusive sales on highly discounted televisions, laptops and other electronics. It is also showing videos of Miley Cyrus concert performances for rabid fans of that performer.

All of the Gap Inc. chains opened on Thanksgiving for the first time. For example, Banana Republic sold buy one, get one free cashmere sweaters and Old Navy offered deep discounts on outerwear. RadioShack also opened its doors on the holiday. Kmart was open as well.

Boscov's, a regional department-store chain in the Northeast, is also highly promoting Saturday deals along with its Black Friday offers. The company also pumped up its Thanksgiving Day sales with an advertising campaign.

It's not that Black Friday isn't important for retailers any more. Early indications are looking like the day came off as a sucess for stores across the country.

A National Retail Federation survey found that 134 million shoppers would do their holiday shopping on either Friday, Saturday and Sunday this year. Friday will likely still draw the most people. But trends are pointing to less of an emphasis on Friday and more on the weekend as a whole. Plus, NRF might consider adding Thursday to future surveys if this year's many store with open doors are an indication of things to come.