Why Wait? More Stores Open for Thanksgiving Shoppers

This year there's no need to wait anymore. You can go holiday shopping as soon as you finish your Thanksgiving turkey. You'll get the same discounts

Popular chain stores throughout the nation are joining in on the trend to stay open for turkey day sale-a-thons.

"Kmart's opening at 7 a.m. [today]. That's pretty aggressive," said Christine Augustin, a retail analyst at Bear Stearns. "There's a lot of midnight madness where the mall's opening at midnight and having bands and entertainment," she added.

CompUSA is open tonight from 9 to midnight. It's enticing shoppers with sweet deals and serving free pumpkin pie.

In New York, some shoppers ABC News talked to liked the idea. "It gives us the opportunity to kind of have a split day where we're spending time with our family for Thanksgiving and yet we still have an opportunity to get out and shop," said one shopper.

After the weakest fall shopping season in a decade, retail projections for the all important holiday shopping season are down.

An ABC News poll showed 36 percent of shoppers predict they will spend less this year for holiday shopping; 48 percent said they plan to spend about the same as last year.

An estimated 133 million Americans will shop Thanksgiving weekend, that's down 3 percent from last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

Augustin said, "We're seeing these earlier-than-ever promotions by retailers, because consumers have been a little more reluctant this year to part with their money."

Online retailers are also jumping in on the act. Wal-Mart is posting its Black Friday specials online today so shoppers can buy an item at the sale price and pick it up in the store Friday.

Analysts predict that consumers can expect to see discount deals on some of this year's hottest items, like high-def TVs, digital cameras and Global Positioning Systems.

Even Amazon.com, which aims to be price competitive year-round, is noticing a change in consumer shopping. According to CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, "What we find is that people are shopping on Thanksgiving Day. They're shopping through that weekend and that's kind of a change from previous years."

But can Thanksgiving Day sales save a potentially weak holiday shopping season? The Wall Street Journal's Wendy Bounds, a "Good Morning America" contributor, thinks perhaps not.

"I still think that many people want to be home with their families on Thanksgiving so I wouldn't look to Thanksgiving to be the day that saves the holiday season for retailers," Bounds said.

If you don't feel like shopping in the stores, you can always take advantage of all those online deals. In fact, the latest ABC News poll says 36 percent of Americans will do their holiday shopping online and many Web sites are offering free shipping this week.