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Americans kick off 2-day holiday shopping marathon

  • People shop at a Target store in Colma, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year's biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers opened on Thanksgiving day this year. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

This year may cement the transformation of the start of the holiday shopping season into a two-day affair.

Black Friday, the official start of the shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, originally was named that because it was when retailers turned a profit, or moved out of the red and into the black. Retailers opened early and offered deep discounts.

But in the past few years, store chains have been opening on Thanksgiving.

This year, several welcomed shoppers for the first time on Thanksgiving night, while Gap Inc., which owns Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy, opened half its stores earlier on the holiday.

Wal-Mart stores, most of which stay open 24 hours, has for the past several years offered doorbusters that had been reserved for Black Friday. And Kmart planned to stay open 41 hours starting at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving.


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