By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO
The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Target will no longer open its stores on Thanksgiving Day, making permanent a shift to the unofficial start of the holiday season that was suspended during the pandemic. To limit crowds in stores, retailers last year were forced to turn what had become a weekend shopping blitz into an extended event with holiday sales beginning as early as October. That forced shift turned out to be a good move. U.S. holiday sales in November and December rose 8.2% from the previous year, and the National Retail Federation predicts that this year could shatter that record, growing between 8.5% and 10.5%.