NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- More retailers are hoping consumers will start their holiday shopping in the wee hours this year with several stores announcing midnight openings on Black Friday. "It's a very slow growth environment and the battle for the dollars is becoming increasingly fierce," said Sterne Agee analyst Ken Stumphauzer. "The consumer needs a reason to shop, having become increasingly episodic. I think the retailers feel like this is likely to heighten the need to shop and probably spread out some traffic so the more casual shopper will be more apt to step in the store."
Every year it seems the rush to capture shoppers dollars has become more intense, with some retailers like Toys 'R' Us, Sears ( SHLD) and Kmart, opting to open Thanksgiving Day on 2010. The question is, do these early openings actually boost retail sales? >>>10 Black Friday Deal Predictions "The funny thing is, it probably doesn't actually really help," Srumphauzer said. "In my opinion, there are a number of shoppers who will shop on that day, and if anything, you are just stretching out the day and thereby heightening your store payroll. It's kind of like a prisoner's dilemma; everyone would benefit if they just ran normal hours, but they are too competitive to cooperate." Nonetheless, retailers are copying Wal-Mart ( WMT), which was one of the only retailers to open at midnight on Black Friday last year. Read on for a look at retailers that plan to perpetuate the Black Friday midnight madness this year.