MOUNT VERNON — The day after Thanksgiving has become known as Black Friday and is the traditional start to the Christmas shopping season. Locally, shoppers will have plenty of opportunities to shop early and shop local.
Many retailers are planning to open their doors earlier than usual. Many will also be offering limited- time specials in addition to any seasonal specials they have planned. These limited specials can be anything from certain items being on sale for a few hours on Friday or weekend-only specials. Expectations are for a good crowd of shoppers on Friday morning.
JC Penney will be opening earlier than any other store on Friday.
“We are opening at 4 a.m.,” said Lori Parker, catalog associated at JC Penney. “We are expecting a good crowd. We are opening early so they can get one store down and be on their way.”
Early shoppers will not have to do without breakfast or their early morning pick- me-up. The new Sips on Coshocton Road will be open at 5 a.m. to serve early morning shoppers. Sips will be offering its full breakfast menu.
After breakfast, shoppers will have their choice of stores to visit.
In addition to Sips, Radio Shack will open at 5 a.m.
“We are ready,” said sales associate Stephen Charles at Radio Shack. “We will be open at 5 a.m. and will have a lot of different Friday and Saturday specials. These will be in our next circular (inserted in today’s News). We are expecting a good crowd.”
Among those opening at 6 a.m. is Lowes. Store manager Chuck Jarrard explained what Lowes will be doing for Black Friday.
“We are going to open at 6 a.m.,” he said. “That’s an hour earlier than usual. We always have a good amount of inventory on hand for shoppers. There are a lot of really good values. ... And we will have a lot of fantastic buys for shoppers.”
Although Jarrard is expecting a good crowd he is not expecting any crowd control problems. He also pointed out that anyone wanting to shop Lowes online can have the item shipped to the local store for pickup.
Many other stores will be opening at 6 a.m. on Friday.
“We are expecting a big crowd,” said Chuck Nixon, store manager at Kmart. “We think it will be comparable to last year. We always have five-hour specials from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Friday and specials on Saturday. Those are always heavy on electronics and apparel. Those are always the biggest categories. And we have hot prices people will want to line up for.”
Big Lots is another retailer extending its hours Friday morning.
“We are getting ready for Thanksgiving and Black Friday,” said store General Manager Chris Klecka. “We are opening at 6 a.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. on Saturday. We normally open at 9 a.m. but will be opening at 6 on Friday so people can take advantage of our door-buster specials. These run from 6 a.m. until we are out of the item. And we will be fully staffed so that we will have plenty of cashiers and plenty of associates on the floor. I don’t have a single associate off on Friday.”
Staples is also looking for a good crowd of shoppers on Friday and will be open early for shoppers looking for bargains.
“We always have the one day specials for Black Friday,” said Bill McClellan, Staples store manager. “We will be ready for the crowds and will have several early bird specials from 6 to 10 a.m. We will have some especially good deals on laptops, too.”
One of Coshocton Road’s newest stores, Peebles, will be letting customers in at 7 a.m. on Friday.
“We are opening at 7,” said Jaime Crawford, Peebles store manager. “We are expecting a good crowd and we are ready to control it if we have to. We are doing some early bird specials from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. And we will have coupons in the [Mount Vernon News]. We are also giving away books of store coupons. That will be a first for us.”
Rite Aid on South Main Street will also be letting customers come in early of Friday.
“We are absolutely open early on Friday,” said Gregg Barnes, store manager. “We are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. We are having several specials from 7 to 9 a.m. and we will have three day specials on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”
Two Coshocton Avenue stores are open 24 hours a day, Kroger and Wal Mart.
Kroger will be getting into the Black Friday frenzy for the first time with a gift card offer.
“It’s called our gift card mega-event,” said Amy McCormick of Kroger. “That will start on Black Friday. We have eight different gift cards for different stores and companies. For the eight most popular gift cards we will be giving back $10 for every $100 they spend on any combination of those eight gift cards. It’s just another way of helping our customers, especially now the way things are.”
And finally, WalMart will not be opening early simply because it never closes. It will be having early bird specials at the store on Friday.
“We are going to have quite a few items on sale from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m.,” said store manager Dennis Earnest. “We also have Friday only all day specials. We really are expecting a good crowd and we are ready for them. I expect it to be a very good Friday for us.”