But regardless of how good the discounts end up being over Black Friday, Michael Brown, a partner with A.T. Kearney's consumer and retail practice, said shoppers will no doubt flock to stores' doorbuster deals. That's because at the end of the day, Black Friday isn't all about getting the best price—it's also about the sport.
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"It really is the Super Bowl of shopping," Brown said. "It's part of our holiday routine. It's how we kick off the holidays, and it's supplemented by great sales everywhere."
One thing that has changed, however, is the significance of Black Friday as a single-day event. That's because Thanksgiving Day openings by retailers including Macy's, Best Buy and Toys R Us have shifted some spending—particularly among millennials—to Thursday.
According to ShopperTrak predictions, 2014 will mark the first year in nearly a decade that Black Friday won't be the biggest day of the season in terms of traffic and sales. Instead, the Saturday before Christmas is expected to nab both of these crowns, with the procrastinators winning out.
"Our numbers show, over the last three years that Thursday sales are growing at a pretty rapid pace," said Bill Martin, found of ShopperTrak. "It's leaching sales from Black Friday."