Customers lining up, looking for Black Friday discounts
BY KYLE ARNOLD World Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
11/21/12 at 9:35 AM
For updates on lines, sales and
merchandise on Thanksgiving
night, follow Tulsa World Staff
Writer Kyle Arnold on Twitter at @kylelarnold.
Shoppers might have a decision to make this Thanksgiving - pumpkin pie or doorbuster sales?
Eager discount-seekers are already lining up outside area big-box stores in anticipation of big deals more than 36 hours away. Likewise retailers are stocking shelves and setting long employee schedules because some national chains are planning to be open 24 hours or more.
Thanksgiving night begins one of the most lucrative shopping periods of the year and retailers are gearing up for the early opening arms race with sales that start at 8 p.m. or earlier and even bigger discounts on high-ticket merchandise.
By all accounts, analysts predict "Black Friday" weekend to be the biggest ever as 147 million shoppers are expected to head to stores or pick out gifts online as overall holiday spending is expected to increase by 4.1 percent this year, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation.
And though the earlier hours are controversial to some, including some upset employees, retailers will continue to move up times as long as consumers respond, said Mike McCarthy, professor of marketing at Miami University in Ohio.
"I think it's pretty simple, they want you to go to their store not second, but first," McCarthy said. "If they hold the line at midnight and someone opens at 10 o'clock or 8 o'clock, that's where shoppers will take their money."
Stores are offering blockbuster deals, including a 32-inch flat-panel television at Sears for under $100, to lure customers in to buy other merchandise with a higher markup.
McCarthy said those big ticket items are marked down so low so that retailers can make sure you spend your money there, and not somewhere else.
"If you are at one store at 8 p.m. then you're not somewhere else buying their doorbusters," McCarthy said. "So you might as well pick up batteries and board games while you are out, items that are more profitable."
While a handful of retailers, such as Kmart, have been open on Thanksgiving day for years, more chains are beginning their deep discounts on Thursday night, starting with Walmart, Kmart, Sears, Stage and Toys "R" Us at 8 p.m.
Target follows with a 9 p.m. opening and Best Buy, Macy's and others will start sales at midnight.
Tulsa Promenade and Woodland Hills Mall will open at midnight, as well as many of the national chains inside.
"More than half the mall will be open at midnight and those stores will stay open all night," said Eileen Neighbors, marketing director for Tulsa Promenade mall. "We expect it to be busy most of the night. It might get quieter for a few hours, but it will perk back up again at 6 and 8 (a.m.)."
A few stores are holding the Black Friday line and opening stores on the actual day after Thanksgiving, with most starting around 5 a.m.
Tulsa-based Drysdales Western Wear will open at 5 a.m. with big sales on boots, jeans and work wear, said Jim McClure, president of the company, which operates two stores and has online and catalog sales.
"It's probably going to be our biggest day of the year and it has been for a few years," McClure said. "Last year when we opened at 5 a.m. our parking lot was full. I asked some customers if they had been out all night shopping and they said they had."
Springfield, Mo.-based Bass Pro Shops will open it's Broken Arrow location at 5 a.m. with $10 jeans, fleece jackets and sweatshirts.
Operations manager Patrick Daniel said the store stocks big on some special merchandise for the season, such as toys and expanded lines of clothing, to bring in more shoppers.
"We have a lot of apparel items that you don't associate with Bass Pro Shops and then of course we have good deals on guns and ammo," he said.
Thanksgiving/Black Friday openings:
Toys "R" Us
Dick's Sporting Goods
Academy Sports & Outdoors
Bass Pro Shops
Bed Bath & Beyond
Burlington Coat Factory
Northern Tool & Equipment
Harbor Freight Tools
Hahn Appliance Warehouse
Original Print Headline: Stores set for sales
Kyle Arnold 918-581-8380
Bass Pro Shops has its Christmas decorations ready for Black Friday. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World
Empty tents are set up outside the Best Buy at 71st Street and U.S. 169 in Tulsa in preparation for lines for the Black Friday sales at the store. The tents were pitched last Sunday by a group of friends from Tulsa, Coweta and Verdigris. They take turns babysitting the tents.MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World
J.C. Penney employee Carina Vega sorts through children's clothing as she fills racks at the store Tuesday in Sunrise Mall in Brownsville, Texas. J.C. Penney will open its doors for Black Friday at 6 a.m. BRAD DOHERTY / The Brownsville Herald/AP