From Staff Reports
Area shoppers will barely have time to put their Thanksgiving leftovers in the refrigerator and see the guests out before the Christmas shopping season starts.
“Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The National Retail Federation projects that 147 million Americans will visit stores or shop online on Black Friday and the following weekend, down slightly from 152 million in 2011.
Meanwhile, the International Council of Shopping Centers says a quarter of consumers plan to spend more on holiday gifts this year than last year. About 41 percent say they’ll spend around the same as last year, and 35 percent say they expect to spend less.
Local retailers plan to do what they can to get their share of Black Friday spending.
• Walnut Square Mall will officially open at 4 a.m. on Black Friday. But select stores, including American Eagle, Claire’s, Aeropostale, Chick-fil-A, Hot Topic, Hibbett Sports, Cookie Company, Foot Locker, Subway, Joker’s Audio, Zales, Belk and more will welcome shoppers as early as midnight.
The mall will also kick off its Give More Happiness program. That program thanks guests for shopping at mall retailers and will be randomly surprising guests with “More Happiness” throughout the holiday season. This “happiness” may come in the form of a free cup of coffee, a mall or store gift card or possibly paying for a guest’s purchase.
• Market Street Shops of Dalton will open at 7 a.m. on Friday, but Carter’s and Osh Kosh B’Gosh will open at 6 a.m. To find out more about any specials and promotions, go to www.daltonshops.com.
• Kohl’s will open at midnight and will feature more than 500 “early bird” special deals through 1 a.m. Friday.
• Walmart will get a big jump on Black Friday, with special deals starting at 8 p.m. today, more deals at 10 and another special sale at 5 a.m. Friday.
• Academy Sports and Outdoors will open at 5 a.m. on Friday and will feature many special deals.
• Kmart will open at 5 a.m. on Friday.