We have seen the evolution of Black Friday over the years...remember when stores opening at 6am the day after Thanksgiving was considered revolutionary?  Get ready for more Black Thursday than ever before!

According to  the National Retail Association, more stores than ever before plan to open at midnight Thanksgiving evening, or even earlier, to offer enticing specials as they hope to grab consumers and get a leg up on the competition.  Target announced they will open at Midnight (most stores), Wal-Mart dropped a bomb by saying they will open prior to midnight, and now most Toys R Us venues will open at 9pm Thanksgiving evening-featuring a limited number of  early Black Friday specials.    The Retail Association notes more "brick and mortar" stores (malls, stand alone retails outlets and others) are going to offer aggressive specials to try to counter the explosion of internet shopping.    The Association says between 2009 and 2010,   online Black Friday shopping shot up a staggering 33 percent, compared to a six percent increase in in-store purchases for the same period.    Also, with the economy facing serious issues,  retailers are pushing even harder to grab shoppers and get them in the store.   According to research,  in-store shoppers are more likely to also add a few impulse items to their purchase; even if only one per customer, it makes a big difference.   By contrast,  the Retail Association says on-line shoppers are more direct, know exactly what they are after, and tend to only purchase "that one" or specific items they were looking for.