Nightly News | November 20, 2011
>>> 2010 . but before that meal is even digested, the focus for a lot of people turns to holiday shopping. but this year there is a new twist and not everybody's happy about it. here is nbc's craig melvin.
>> reporter: can you believe they're already lining up for those black friday bargains?
>> $800 tv for $200, so, i mean, we think people will be here really early.
>> reporter: a welcome sign for struggling retailers who count on next weekend for up to 20% of their sales. this year, they're pulling out all the stops.
>> starts next friday morning at midnight.
>> reporter: big door busters with walmart brought back layaway for fwifthe first time in years. for the first time ever, some retailers are starting black friday on thursday. if they can beat the competition and open up a little bit earlier, it is the early bird that gets the worm philosophy.
>> reporter: 17% of shoppers say they'll start their christmas shopping thanksgiving weekend. that's up 5% over last year. consumer confidence is at an all time low, and many experts don't think consumer will be spending much more this holiday season than last. so if the pie isn't getting any bigger, retailers have to figure out how to get a bigger slice. not everyone is happier about the earlier hours. carlton smith has been at work at walmart 8:00 thanksgiving night.
>> holiday, especially paid holidays should be spent with family and friends.
>> reporter: it is even led to a black friday backlash of sorts with nearly 200,000 signing this petition asking target to save thanksgiving for their workers. target and walmart both told us they very much appreciate their employees, especially during the holidays. and with more than 25 million americans looking for jobs, some like lilia caine do not mine going to theirs on turkey day .
>> we're excited to come in and work. this economy is tough.
>> reporter: that tough economy, and traditions for retailers, shoppers and the workers. craig melvin, nbc news, new york.