YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Black Friday used to be the official start of the holiday shopping season, but these days, stores are offering their customers a head start on their holiday shopping by offering their best deals on Thanksgiving.
Some shoppers say Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping is a big no. Others are OK with shopping on Friday, just not on Thanksgiving.
Many stores will be open on Thanksgiving, but there are some that are holding off on the savings until after the turkey is served.
The Southern Park Mall opens at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and will stay open until 1 a.m. before closing for a few hours. Doors open again at 6 a.m. Friday and stay open until 10 p.m.
The Eastwood Mall is quiet now, but next Thursday, it will be a different story. The mall will open at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving day and is open until Friday night at 10 p.m.
Joe Bell, communications director for the Cafaro Company, said the Eastwood Mall has gifts and deals for early shoppers.
“The first 1,500 people in through the Food Court entrance will get goody bags full of all kind of special deals and coupons,” he said.
The Eastwood Mall also has activities planned for shoppers, including the big balloon drop at 6 a.m. Black Friday. Bell says every balloon has a prize in it, mostly gift cards ranging from $10 to $500, but there is a grand prize that is worth noting.
“Round-trip airfare anywhere in the United States, courtesy of Youngstown/Warren Regional Airport,” he said.
Tamara Minniti said she will not be there.
“Oh heavens, no. I stay away from those crowds,” she said. “The craziness, the madness — not for me.”
Jessica Adkins said she has always loved Black Friday shopping and the deals that she could find, but now that she is a mother, she said shopping is not a priority.
Black Friday shopper Brandy Molden says she has a strategy for her shopping. If you are going to go, she says, make sure you get to the store early.
“Black Friday, usually get up early,” she said. “Try and hit Toys “R” Us first, because that’s where the best deals are, and I still have people under 10 in my house.”
Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, Target and Walmart are just some of the big retailers open Thanksgiving day. J.C. Penney will be opening as early as 3 p.m.
Minniti criticized the stores that are opening early on Thanksgiving.
“I think that’s crazy,” she said. “I mean Thanksgiving is about family, spending it with family.”
Dillard’s is one of the big department stores that is not open on Thanksgiving.
Molden said she recognizes stores that close on Thanksgiving by patronizing their businesses and seeing what they have for sale online. She said she understands why some stores are open, however.
“When I was little, everything was shut down, so it was a holiday you didn’t do things,” she said. “You spent time with your family, but I think nowadays, people may not have that family to spend the holidays with, so maybe they want to come to work.”
The stores that will be closed on Thanksgiving include Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx and Nordstrom.