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Black Friday shoppers are beginning a day early

Date published: 11/22/2012


Call it Black Friday creep.

The doorbuster sales that traditionally mark the beginning of the busiest shopping season of the year just keep getting earlier and earlier.

Many retailers aren't even waiting until Black Friday this time to open their doors for Black Friday sales.

Gander Mountain, for example, will be open from 9 a.m. to midnight today. And Kmart will open even earlier--6 a.m.--for what it calls Thursday doorbusters. It will then close at 4 p.m. and reopen four hours later for its "official" Black Friday sales.

Likewise, the Old Navy store in Central Park will offer special sales from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, then reopen at midnight for Black Friday.

Major retailers Sears and Toys R Us also will open their doors at 8 p.m. today, and Walmart will kick off the first of a wave of Black Friday deals at that time. That's an hour earlier than last year.

With two exceptions, all the merchants at Spotsylvania Towne Centre will be opening at midnight. While Sears is opting for an early opening, JCPenney will wait until 6 a.m. Friday to let its sales begin. Last year only a handful of stores at the mall were open at midnight.

Retailers are counting on having shoppers clear away the turkey and pumpkin pie so they can snap up Black Friday bargains today. But cash registers are likely to be ringing just as much or more on Black Friday--if an informal poll on fredericksburg .com is any indication.

Of the 282 viewers who voted, 223, or nearly 80 percent, said that they planned to shop early on Black Friday. Midnight got the next-highest total, 34 votes, or 12 percent, followed 14 people, or nearly 5 percent, who said they planned to shop after Thanksgiving dinner.

Early on Thanksgiving Day trailed the pack with nearly 4 percent, or 11 votes.

Retail giant Walmart has taken note of when shoppers say they prefer to shop for Black Friday sales, and has taken a different approach this year.

In addition to the 8 p.m. doorbuster specials, which will include toys, video games and household items, there will be another at 10 that will focus on electronics. The third round of sales won't start until 6 a.m. on Black Friday itself. It will include jewelry, tires and tools.

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Here are the times when a number of major retailers will hold their Black Friday sales:

Toys R Us: The first 200 customers in line at each store when it opens at 8 p.m. on Nov. 22 will receive a goody bag filled with toys worth a total of $30.

Walmart: The retailer will kick off in-store specials at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and another round at 10 p.m. It will kick off a weekend of additional sales starting at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.

Target: The stores will open at 9 p.m. Thursday.

Spotsylvania Towne Centre and The Village at Towne Centre: The Star Radio Group will hand out hot chocolate and popcorn at The Village at Towne Centre beginning at 11 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, and all mall stores will open at midnight with the exception of Sears and JCPenney. The first 1,200 people in line at The Village will receive goody bags.

Old Navy: It will offer special sales from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, then reopen at midnight for Black Friday.

h.h. gregg: It will open at 10 p.m. today.

Kohl's: It will open at midnight.

Home Depot: It will open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.

Lowe's: It will open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.

World Market: It will open at 7 a.m. on Black Friday.