Retailers prepare for Black Friday
Retailers are making it even easier this year for shoppers to pull an all-nighter from Thanksgiving Thursday to Black Friday. The unofficial holiday began in the 1960s to usher in the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, allowing for businesses to move from the "red" to the "black" in their financial records. Today, the rush of the sales and crowds in the stores have allowed for outlets to expand their early-morning hours even into the late night prior to Black Friday. This year on the local front, Wal-Mart is offering three time slots for shoppers to stave off the crowds while still getting good deals: 10 p.m. on Thursday, midnight on Friday and 8 a.m. on Friday. Gaming systems, board games, and toys--among other items, will be the hot items for shoppers. A representative with the local store noted that their Black Friday ad is currently online along with a store map (walmart.com) so that shoppers can plan their trip around the store.K-Mart, according to an online press release, will open their doors at 5 a.m. on Friday with doorbuster deals running through 11 a.m. Their Black Friday sales ad is also on their website, and in an effort to keep with tradition, K-Mart will offer extended holiday hours leading up to Christmas Eve. The store is currently advertising savings on clothing, jewelry, and home appliances, along with toys and electronics. Both Wal-Mart and K-Mart will offer layaway, but only for certain products. Wal-Mart's layaway plan includes toys and electronics, whereas items at K-Mart will be specified as "available for layaway".Another local store participating in Black Friday will be Radio Shack as their doors will open at 5:30 a.m. Billy Havner, the manager at Radio Shack, said that while they have a variety of electronics on sale, items are limited. Among the sales items are the Nook e-reader, Cruz tablets, 32-inch televisions, digital cameras and GPSs. Cell phones (pre-paid and post-paid) will also be available for purchase during Black Friday.In addition, Bealls will join the local Black Friday extravaganza by opening their doors at 6 a.m. On their website (www.beallstx.com), shoppers can find their local store, which will lead them to coupons that can be printed and used while shopping.Cato, while not participating in Black Friday, will open their doors early at 7 a.m. Their items will be sold at regular and markdown prices. But beyond the city limits, other outlets will allow shoppers to continue their Black Friday experience. For those shoppers on the lookout for children's items, Toys "R" Us will begin their doorbuster sales at 9 p.m. on Thursday night with extra doorbuster deals beginning Friday morning at 5 a.m. Both shopping specials will continue until 1 p.m. on Friday, and the store is also boasting "unadvertised mystery deals".For the shopper of all things electronic, Best Buy will open their doors at midnight on Friday but will also offer online deals on Thanksgiving Day. Target will also open at midnight on Friday with doorbuster deals being offered while supplies last on a wide range of items from clothing to cookware and everything in between.Whether your Black Friday preparations lean toward hibernation before shopping or crazy antics while wearing a red sweatsuit and a side ponytail, this year's Black Friday deals are sure to lead shoppers to savings while pleasing those who will inevitably receive the gifts.