For many, Thanksgiving traditions include shopping for - - Columbia, South Carolina |

For many, Thanksgiving traditions include shopping for deals

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(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)

Some economists have called this "Red Friday" doubting shoppers will rush away from the Thanksgiving table for bargains.

"It's a celebration of the harvest," said David Crockett, an associate professor of marketing at USC.

And while we're not picking from the fields anymore, savvy shoppers are picking up bargains from the stores.

"It really does appear to be one of those things that are part of lots of family traditions, so it's not so much that these things are separate, as much as it is rolled into the whole celebration of Thanksgiving," Crockett said.

Crockett said it's a smart play by retailers to open their doors even earlier, playing on those traditions.

"At the end of Thanksgiving, we've eaten all of our turkey, we've eaten all of our pie, we've taken our nap and it's still just 8:00 p.m.," Crockett said.

But also a move to avoiding those door busting horror scenes and lengthening what is already a short buying season, just 26 days.

"That way you can kind of control traffic a little better, get the folks who want to get out early and get it done, to get them in, and then the people who are more traditional go right at the end of Thanksgiving, into the next day and you can get them as well," he said.

And with more stores offering guarantees like Wal-Mart's one hour in-stock guarantee, they're hoping to avoid some of the holiday shopping horrors that make the headlines.

"No one knows the names of the people who trampled other folks on their way to get stuff, but they all know where that happened, right they know the name of the store, but they don't know the name of the people and so for retailers they don't want that type of thing associated with their brand," Crockett said.

And Black Friday car deals? Even automotive dealers are getting to consumers earlier this year, taking their cue from retailers, hoping to make sales merry this holiday shopping season.

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