Local stores set to open Thanksgiving night for Black Friday shoppers

Photo by Gretel Daugherty—Store manager Jeff Long holds up the Black Friday ad for Sears in Mesa Mall. Sears will open at 8 p.m. on Thankgiving, making it the first store in the Grand Junction area that will open for Black Friday shoppers with doorbuster deals. It will remain open all night and begin selling a new set of doorbusters starting at 4 a.m. Friday.

Forget about sleeping off that scrumptious turkey dinner.

Rather, shoot for getting just a couple winks.

Stores around the Grand Valley promise to lure half-awake shoppers with any number of Black Friday deals, several of the doorbusters available early Thanksgiving night.

Most larger chain stores anchoring Mesa Mall open at midnight. However, Sears hopes to pack shoppers into their doors at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night. Target flings its doors open an hour later, at 9 p.m.

Kmart, 2809 North Ave., opens at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving and closes at 4 p.m. It opens again, four hours later, at 8 p.m., capturing the trend of the forward-creeping Black Friday sales. Both Grand Junction Walmart locations are open 24 hours as usual, but their first sale starts at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

As usual, deep cuts on hot items are expected to bring folks out in droves, store officials said.

“From everything I’ve heard, it was probably about 1,000 people last year,” Lauren Pruitt, marketing and events manager for Cabela’s, said of the store’s Black Friday crowds in 2011. “We’re expecting close to that or maybe more. I think our economy is finally coming back on the rebound.”

While other stores in Mesa Mall open at midnight Friday, a number of other retailers around the Grand Valley allow families to celebrate Thursday’s holiday unfettered by holiday shopping sales.

Sam’s Club, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Murdoch’s, for example, will stay closed on Thanksgiving.

Yet, most stores in the Grand Valley are posting earlier than normal hours in anticipation of the busiest shopping day of the year.

A robust holiday shopping season is important for any number of stores. At Mesa Jewelers in Mesa Mall, owner John Kelly said opening his doors in the pre-dawn hours hasn’t produced returns in years past. Still, he’ll open his store an hour earlier than usual, at 9 a.m. Opening at 6 a.m. one year proved fruitless, he said, with the first sale of that day occurring just after 11 a.m.

Holiday season sales account for a quarter of the jewelry store’s yearly sales, Kelly said, with the year’s largest number of engagement rings snapped up during the holiday season.

Kelly’s location in the mall can’t be beat, as it’s within sight of Santa’s station. One year, a couple became engaged while talking with Santa thanks to the purchase of a ring just moments before at his store.

“I’ll do three times my average day in sales,” Kelly said of Black Friday shoppers.

Holiday sales represent 20 to 40 percent of a store’s annual receipts, according to the National Retail Federation. The organization predicts this year’s holiday sales will increase 4.1 percent over last year. If that prediction rings true, holiday sales this season would top $586 billion. In general, holiday sales have averaged a 3.5 increase year over year during the past decade, the agency reports.

Having some stores open Thanksgiving night should attract eager shoppers, with most of the early birds being female shoppers, Mesa Mall spokeswoman Chelsi Reimer said.

“We’re getting a super head start on people’s head start,” she said of stores opening earlier than last year.

Mesa Mall is offering freebie “survival kits” filled with $20 worth of coupons to the first 150 shoppers at the mall. Other specials will be offered throughout the day. For information visit http://www.simon.com/mall/mesa-mall.


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I find it absolutely horrendous that mere merchants are opening their doors on Thanksgiving, my family will patronize none of them with our Christmas dollars this year. We’ll be shopping with those who keep the spirit of the Holiday alive and allow their employees to do the same.

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