11/28/13 — Stores ready for rush of shoppers

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Stores ready for rush of shoppers

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on November 28, 2013 12:10 AM

At Belk in Berkeley Mall, General Manager Turner Wood is gearing up for his favorite work day of the year, Black Friday.

"It truly is my favorite retail day," he said. "It's exciting. It's our biggest day of the year."

This year, Belk will open on Thanksgiving Day for the first time instead of greeting shoppers early Friday morning.

Belk will open at 8 p.m. Thursday and not close again until 10 p.m. Friday, offering shoppers 26 hours of uninterrupted shopping bargains.

This year will be Wood's 31st Black Friday and he says he enjoys how it kicks off the season so strong.

"We start after Thanksgiving and keep going until right around January," Wood said.

Some of the big ticket items for this year are boots at Belk.

Many selections of boots are available for just $19.99 during the after Thanksgiving sale.

"Boots are going to be huge this year," Wood said. "Luggage will be another big one."

Five-piece luggage sets are on sale for $39.99 during the sale.

The luggage is marked down from $179.99.

In preparation for the season, Wood hired 15 to 20 percent more workers adding up to about 115 employees who will be manning the store during the sale.

"It really will be all hands on deck," he said.

With one less week of shopping following a late Thanksgiving this year, Wood said Belk's marketing for Black Friday has been targeted to offering great values to the customers in one place.

"We have geared our promotions to a shorter window of time this year," he said.

At Big Lots, Anna Marie Sanderson is gearing up for an extended shopping day on not only Black Friday, but Thanksgiving Day as well.

Big Lots on Berkeley Boulevard will open at 7 a.m. Thursday and stay open until 11 p.m. that night.

On Friday the store will open at 6 a.m. and close at 11 p.m.

"Furniture is going to be our biggest seller," Ms. Sanderson said. "Mattresses will be one of our big sellers, too."

Big Lots will run a deal that a mattress foundation comes free with every mattress purchase except on more expensive mattresses, then the foundation will cost $10.

Big Lots offers layaway on furniture, and if they put down 20 percent, patrons can lock in holiday prices and make payments over time, Ms. Sanderson said.

Other Black Friday store hours include:

* JCPenney will be open at 8 p.m. Thursday and stay open until 9 p.m. Friday offering 25 hours of shopping.

* Michaels will open at 4 p.m. Thursday and will close at 2 a.m. before opening again on Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

* Walgreens will open at 8 a.m. Thursday.

* Old Navy will open at 7 p.m. Thursday.

* Target will open at 8 p.m. Thursday.

* Sears will open at 8 p.m. Thursday.

* Staples will open at 9 p.m. Thursday.

* Gamestop will open at 12 a.m. Friday.

* Jo-Ann's Fabrics will be open at 6 a.m. Friday.