Economy Briefs: Target latest to expand Thanksgiving hours

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NEW YORK — Target Corp. will open its doors at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, three hours earlier than a year ago, to kick off the holiday shopping season.

The discounter joins several other major retailers that are opening earlier in the evening on the holiday and staggering deals over the two-day period.

Over the years, stores have been expanding their hours on Black Friday to get ahead of the competition, but the kickoff is increasingly happening right after shoppers finish their turkey feast.

“We thought long and hard about when the right opening time would be,” said Kathee Tesija, Target’s executive vice president of merchandising. She said that 9 p.m. struck “a perfect balance” for its customers.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said last week it will begin its holiday sale at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, two hours earlier than last year. It then will have two more rounds of sales events including a 10 p.m. sale on electronics and another sale at 5 a.m. the next day. Sears Holdings Corp. said its Sears stores will open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day and will stay open overnight until 10 p.m. Friday.

BEVERAGES

Pepsi to sell diet soda in Japan with added fiber

TOKYO — Fruits, vegetables and wheat bread are all sources of fiber. Now, so is Pepsi-Cola in Japan.

PepsiCo Inc. on Tuesday plans to launch a version of its namesake soda with a fat-blocking fiber called dextrin in Japan. In an announcement on the company’s Japanese website, PepsiCo explains how dextrin helps reduce fat levels in blood.

A representative for PepsiCo based in Purchase, N.Y., was not able to provide other details about the drink, which is called Pepsi Special but isn’t even the first cola with fiber in Japan. The Japanese company Kirin also offers a sugar-free cola with dextrin.

COMMERCE

Wholesale stockpiles grew 1.1% in September

U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in September at the fastest pace in nine months and their sales jumped by the largest amount in 18 months. The increases suggest the U.S. economy grew faster over the summer than first estimated.

Wholesale stockpiles grew 1.1 percent in September, the Commerce Department said Friday. That’s up from a 0.8 percent increase in August, which was revised higher.

Sales at the wholesale level rose 2 percent in September. That was double the August gain and the largest increase since March 2011.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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