Black Friday might as well be called Black November for some stores, local and nationwide. Many retailers have had sales going since Halloween ended, while others are waiting until Friday.
Locally, Rue 21 will open at 8 p.m. on Thursday and close at 9 p.m Friday, while Bealls will be open from 8 p.m. until midnight Thursday and open again at 6 a.m. Friday. For those who need a few last minute items for Thanksgiving dinner, H.E.B. and WalMart will both be open Thursday. H.E.B from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thursday and for regular business hours on Friday. WalMart will be open all day Thursday and Friday with Black Friday sales beginning as early as 8 p.m. Thursday.
Other local stores will wait until Friday morning to open their doors. Both Hibbett Sports and JCPenney will be closed Thursday employees can spend the holiday with their families. Both will open at 6 a.m. Friday.
"We will not be open on Thanksgiving Day so that our employees can spend that time with their families," said Doug Long, manager of JCPenney in Stephenville. "When we open on Friday, I expect there will be a bit of a rush, more people than we have on a normal day because of our sale, but probably no people waiting at the doors overnight."
Gifford's TV and Electronics is giving its employees Thursday to spend with their families and opening on Friday with specials. Chris Gifford said they have been offering special pricing on electronics since Monday and will continue to do so throughout the weekend.
"We don't try to compete with the big corporations who only have a limited number of items for specials on Friday," Gifford said. "We keep our regularly stocked merchandise and offer sales for the entire week and focus on the people. We will have those TVs and other electronics after the other stores sell out, we don't have the crowds to fight and will still be offering sales on Small Business Saturday (Nov. 24) as well."
Despite all the hustle and bustle of Black Friday shopping, consumer experts like Edgar Dworsky, founder of consumerworld.org, say the day is really the best shopping day of the year. Retailers have long considered the day after Thanksgiving the official launch to the holiday shopping period. However, this year there's a twist to the time honored tradition - the so-called "door busters" will be starting at different times in different stores.
WalMart will have sales beginning at 8 and 10 p.m. on Thursday night, as will stores like Rue 21 and Bealls. If shoppers do not read the circulars carefully, they could show up too late and miss the best deals. Retailers in Stephenville say their deals will only last as long as the products.
While every year the most popular items on Black Friday change, most retailers said they believe electronics and toys will be the hot items this year, with televisions, game consoles and cameras being the first items to go.
Clothes are always a big sale on Black Friday, with deals abounding throughout stores. At JCPenney, women's boots, skinny jeans and tops will all be on sale. While at Rue 21, store managers said they will have sweaters and jackets on sale along with deals on jeans and other tops for guys and girls.
Brad Smith, manager at Hibbett Sports, said their most popular items are shoes and jackets. He said sports shirts, jerseys and caps are also big sellers.
Stores like WalMart and Gifford's will both have huge price cuts on electronics like televisions and WalMart reminds customers the specials will only last as long as the products do. According to officials, once the products offered are sold out, the specials are no longer applicable. The price cuts will not be available on reordered items.
So if you are planning on braving the crowds for the best deals, local retailers and national experts recommend reading ads carefully and making a plan for your Black Friday shopping.