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Shoppers, most retailers embrace earlier hours

Sunday, November 25, 2012

(Photo)
Deal seekers set up camp outside of Target Thursday evening, Nov. 22, 2012 Cape Girardeau. The retailer opened it's doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
(Laura Simon) [Order this photo]
While many major retailers in Cape Girardeau were slicing into Thanksgiving Day -- beginning Black Friday deals on Thursday -- JCPenney and Menard's were notable holdouts.

Would the later openings, which gave employees more time to spend with their families, cause sales to suffer?

For JCPenney, the move paid off. The retailer is one of few stores that opened later than in 2011, moving its opening from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. Store manager Sarah Grigaitis said the more traditional Black Friday opening time helped boost sales.

"We had far bigger crowds at opening this year than last year," she said. "People had done their shopping from midnight on and we may have been their last stop."

The Friday morning opening also improved morale.

"It benefited my whole team because they got to spend Thanksgiving Day with their families without having to think about this place," Grigaitis said.

Some shoppers said saving thousands of dollars made it worth skipping part of Thanksgiving at home.

"It's worth it to me for all the money we are saving on gifts," said Serena Poppen, who arrived at Best Buy in Cape Girardeau at 8 p.m. Thursday. Snuggled in a lawn chair beneath blankets, she waited for the store's midnight opening to buy a 50-inch TV and other electronic presents for her family and friends.

Stores in Cape Girardeau and across the country opened earlier than ever, starting Black Friday on Thanksgiving, cutting into employees' and customers' holiday time. In Cape Girardeau, customers came out in droves.

Scott Sander, who has shopped Black Friday at Best Buy for the last five years, said his family usually saves about $1,000, on average, by shopping on Black Friday. This year, he expected to save about $2,000. His nephew, James Fortner, estimated he would save about $1,200 on the items on his shopping list. They huddled around a portable heater and ate leftovers brought to them by family members.

"For a lot of people, if they continue to keep moving [opening times] back like this, it's not going to make it worth it for them to come out and miss Thanksgiving with their family. There'll be more families missing more people," said Kim Sander, who joined her husband in line after dinner with her side of the family.

Melissa King said she opted for Taco Bell instead of turkey this year as she waited in line at Target. This year Target moved up its opening three hours -- from midnight last year to 9 p.m. Thursday, which meant King had to get in line earlier.

"I said save me a plate, I'll see ya'll tomorrow," she said.

Other stores that opened Thursday included Toys'R'Us, which bumped its opening from 9 p.m. last year to 8 p.m. Walmart, offered Black Friday deals beginning at 8 p.m., two hours earlier than last year. Sears opened at 8 p.m. although it wasn't open Thanksgiving Day last year.

Customers had mixed feelings about the earlier openings, said Target store manager Liz Wassell.

"There's been a lot of different reactions. Some customers are excited that we're staying competitive. Some people are not," Wassell said.

The earlier opening went smoothly, she said, thanks to crowd-management plans and staff training weeks ago.

Priscilla Webb of Sikeston, Mo., who waited outside Toys'R'Us on Thursday evening to save more than $100 on a pink PowerWheels Escalade for her 3-year-old daughter, said she prefers the earlier openings.

"I didn't want to wake up at 4 or 5 a.m.," she said. "This 8 p.m. opening time is perfect, but anything earlier would be taking away from Thanksgiving."

Treva Crain of Poplar Bluff, Mo., planned to end her shopping with a 5 a.m. trip to Walmart, which had three different sets of "doorbuster" deals at three different times this year.

Crain and more than 100 other women swarmed Victoria Secret inside West Park Mall when it opened at midnight, and she was the first one in the checkout line.

"I knew what I wanted and I knew exactly where it was," said Crain, who had scouted the in-store location of the Black Friday items she wanted a week ahead of time.

While JCPenney lost some volume in the early morning hours it was not open, those losses were not what Grigaitis feared they would be.

Crowds were steady throughout Friday, she said, and new mobile point-of-sale units were used to help shoppers check out on the spot, instead of making them bring items to a stationary cash register. Credit cards were scanned and receipts emailed to customers to speed the process.

About 17 percent of shoppers said they had planned to take advantage of Thanksgiving hours, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs survey of 1,000 consumers conducted from Nov. 15 to Nov. 18. That figure is up slightly from 16 percent in 2011. On Black Friday, 33 percent of those surveyed said they intended to shop, down from 34 percent in 2011.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

202 Siemers Drive, Cape Girardeau, MO

3439 William St., Cape Girardeau, MO

3026 William St., Cape Girardeau, MO

201 Silver Springs Road, Cape Girardeau, MO

3049 William St., Cape Girardeau, MO


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-- Posted by ToddHartman1000 on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 3:58 AM

There is no way I would stand in line all night long to waiting for the doors to open at one of these stores just to save a couple of bucks. I seen on the news this morning where there was a problem between some people at a local retail store Thanksgiving evening. Instead of fighting over a item they should have been home with there families on Thanksgiving and the store should not even have been open on Thanksgiving in the first place.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 7:03 AM

Retailers have ruined Thanksgiving by opening doors Thanksgiving night. Now families don't stay together late playing games, having fun, or whatever it is they do together. They feel they have to now get to stores at 8pm otherwise they will miss out on the best deals stores have to offer.

-- Posted by KoH_Cliff on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 8:19 AM

ALL about the all-mighty dollar!!!!!

-- Posted by arrestthem on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 8:33 AM

Well said KoH-Cliff and arrestthem.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 8:39 AM

If you're saving $1,000 to $2,000 on Christmas shopping, you may be spending just a tad bit much for Christmas in my opinion.

-- Posted by whatever24 on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 12:03 PM

"saves $1,000 by Black Friday shopping..." - and also saves another $79.75 in sales tax - almost an 8% return on money not spent. Whoo hoo! :-)~

-- Posted by fxpwt on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 1:15 PM

how many greedy business owners were working with their employes on thanksgiving.none

-- Posted by crazyhorse on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 3:34 PM

just wait next year they will open at 8:00 am on thanksgiving morning.

who needs all that crap from china anyway.

-- Posted by bagman75 on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 3:42 PM

move it back to friday morning, if people are going to buy that crap they will buy it friday.

give your employees a break,

life is not all greed greed greed.

you bet upper management was at home....

-- Posted by bagman75 on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 6:50 PM

Retailers opened Thanksgiving and the consumer showed up.

Retailers satisfied consumer demand.

-- Posted by FreedomFadingFast on Fri, Nov 23, 2012, at 8:05 PM

The "greedy" business owners would not be open if the "greedy" masses of shoppers did not show up. Surveys of shoppers showed that the shoppers overwhelmingly wanted the stores to open on Thanksgiving Day - the "greedy" business owners are trying to make a living. I thought we wanted people to be successful so we could tax them more.

-- Posted by ParkerDaws on Sat, Nov 24, 2012, at 7:01 AM

Merry Christmas to the "Black Friday Shoppers" who were seen on television fighting over an item that was priced under fifty dollars. You made the news and I know you are proud. Copy the broadcast for your grand children. Hope to see you again next year on the tube!

-- Posted by arrestthem on Sat, Nov 24, 2012, at 7:16 AM

the greedy masses wouldn't show up if the greedy business owners were closed.how many greedy business owners were there working Thanksgiving

-- Posted by crazyhorse on Sat, Nov 24, 2012, at 4:12 PM

Upset with JCP for discontinuing the Snow Globes this year.

-- Posted by Yankee Station on Sat, Nov 24, 2012, at 5:36 PM

"discontinuing the Snow Globes" - aaargh, Global Warming strikes again!! :-)~

-- Posted by fxpwt on Sat, Nov 24, 2012, at 7:30 PM

It hasn't been that long ago since we had the Sunday Blue Law in this county. How about passing a municipal or county Blue Law ordinance for Thanksgiving? It's clear that shoppers in this part of the state don't embrace the Thanksgiving opening compared to those in other parts of the state such as St. Louis. Let's pass a holiday blue law. Those that want to spend time away from their families on this holiday can take one of those $50 federal subsidized flights to St.Louis.

-- Posted by Beaker on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 9:00 AM


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Black Friday
Shoppers look for deals on Thanksgiving evening and Friday in Cape Girardeau.
From tips to elbows -- a few tweets from #semoblackfriday
For the third consecutive year, Southeast Missouri shoppers used the tag #semoblackfriday to share updates, deals and stories about Black Friday shopping. Here is what business editor Melissa Miller and some intrepid shoppers had to say as they made their way from store to store seeking bargains.

Gregory Vaughn @gregoryvaughn

#semoblackfriday Best Buy has about 15 people in line Target zero Sears 5 ...

3:03 p.m. Thursday

Bobby Clubbs @BobbyClubbs

@semissourianbiz #semoblackfriday shoppers waiting in line will have to brave showers in about two hours ...

5:08 p.m. Thursday

Amber Sides @amsides

Standing in line at Walmart for Wii games! This place is buzzing! #semoblackfriday

7:13 p.m. Thursday

Nicholle Hinkle @NicholleHinkle

Walmart's Black Friday system is a joke! I can't believe they think they're gonna keep people out of this Saran Wrap. #semoblackfriday

7:19 p.m. Thursday

Melissa Miller @semissourianbiz

First 200 people in line at Toys r Us get a free bag of

toys worth $30! They just opened the doors to shoppers. #semoblackfriday

7:45 p.m. Thursday

Nicholle Hinkle @NicholleHinkle

The line for Target is all the way down to TJ Maxx! #semoblackfriday

8:14 p.m. Thursday

Kristen Newell @krickn

Just left Jackson, MO Wal-Mart; now we're headed to Target. #semoblackfriday

8:55 p.m. Thursday

Melissa Miller @semissourianbiz

Just got elbowed in the stomach by a tween girl at Wal-Mart! So unnecessary! #semoblackfriday

9:18 p.m. Thursday

Amber Sides @amsides

Old Navy line is wrapped all the way to Bath and Body Works! #semoblackfriday

12:01 a.m. Friday

Darren Burgfeld @IceburgMO

RT #semoblackfriday shoppers are breaking out the umbrellas! #rain #Godissmitingyou Next comes the weeping and gnashing.

12:37 a.m. Friday

Kristen Newell @krickn

Done shopping & headed home earlier than past years. Hit up Wal-Mart, Target, Children's Place, Finish Line & Macy's. #semoblackfriday

12:46 a.m. Friday

Charlie Staffeldt @HappyCharlie29

It's supposed 2 b "black Friday" instead retailers r giving Thanksgiving a black eye #semoblackfriday

8:14 a.m. Friday

Luther Haynes @LutherHaynes1

Missed Target this year, wal-mart had a better deal on the electronics! #semoblackfriday

9:31 a.m. Friday

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