Nightly News | November 24, 2013
>>> it is estimated 140 million americans will shop online or in stores over the thanksgiving weekend. about 33 million of them on thanksgiving day alone. as nbc's reporter tells us, that's too long to wait.
>> reporter: on chicago's state street , it is already beginning to look a lot like christmas .
>> i love christmas like the earlier the better.
>> reporter: for some, it can be too early.
>> i don't shop on thanksgiving. i dedicate that to family.
>> reporter: so you're more interested in the turkey dinner than in bargain hunting.
>> would be absolutely right.
>> reporter: others say there is room for both.
>> it doesn't bother me. i shop every day any way.
>> reporter: this year holiday bargains are starting earlier than ever. can't sleep? most walmarts are open 24 hours . early risers can start bargain hunting at kmart at 6:00 a.m . or wait until after breakfast. most old navy stores open at 9:00 a.m . want to finish dinner? toys "r" us opens at 5:00 al, best buy at 6:00, and macy's, target and sears open at 8:00.
>> idea is to get the consumer involve in the shopping process as early as possible. the retailers are worried they may run out of money.
>> reporter: the survey pound people are planning to spend a drop of 2% from last year. analysts say thanksgiving shoppers would otherwise be hitting the stores on black friday. about 1 million walmart employees will be working thanksgiving to soften the blow, the retailer will pay them time and a half, provide them a hot turkey dinner during their shifts and give them a 25% discount on purchases.
>> the retailers are trying to make it worth it for the employees. they know the employees are also giving up something that is very precious to them.
>> reporter: shoppers who skip the early hoopla may not be missing the best deals. there will likely be more deep discounts just before christmas . nbc news, chicago.