Black Friday frenzy soon to be a thing of the past?

Black Friday starts Thursday

WYOMISSING, Pa. - Could the Black Friday shopping tradition soon be a thing of the past?

A tough economy could be forcing stores to forgo tradition in a race to grab more dollars from shoppers.

A sight you won't see at the VF Outlet Center in Wyomissing, Berks Co., this year is hundreds of customers bursting through the doors at midnight.

The VF Outlet Center has done away with Midnight Madness and replaced it with Moonlight Madness. Instead of opening at midnight, doors open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

"We're hoping this might be intriguing to some that don't like to typically go out on Black Friday in all the craze," said Arianne Chernich, spokeswoman for The VF Outlet Center.

Employees were also considered in all the shopping madness.

"We kind of split the shifts so some employees can stay home on Thanksgiving, and the others can come in and take care of the whole Black Friday day."

At Boscov's, Al Boscov indicated an earlier start time doesn't exactly mean shoppers will shell out more cash.

"Retailers are crazy," said Boscov. "Basically, if we all opened on Friday at 8:00 or 9:00, we'd all do the same amount of business."

Boscov opened the doors to his stores at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving to get a jump on the competition.

"It's all everyone trying to skunk the other guy and get a little more of the Thanksgiving business," said Boscov.

The National Retail Federation predicts 152 million shoppers will visit stores over the Thanksiving weekend, which is a six percent increase over last year.

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