Tricia Overfield is a woman on a mission.
After enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving Day with her family, she and her two sisters will catch a short night’s sleep and be out the door by 5 a.m. on Black Friday.
For Overfield, it’s more about the fun and 15-year tradition of the day than the shopping itself. “I really enjoy it,” she said. “We all have an idea of who we have to buy for; we’re not really out there just looking for the advertised deal.”
One thing’s for sure: you’ll be standing in line wherever you go on Black Friday. “One time there were six of us shopping at Target and it was a crazy zoo,” Overfield said. “It took us two hours to check-out and all I bought was a video for $4.99.”
Black Friday sales are expected to be down slightly this year, due to early shopping hours on Thanksgiving Day, online shopping and early pre-Black Friday promotions. But it is still one of the biggest holiday shopping days, if not the biggest day, of the year.
Meanwhile Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30 continues to gain momentum at independent “mom and pop” stores, working to garner their share of shopping revenue during Thanksgiving weekend.
“People will shop the big box stores early on Black Friday, then we’ll get them here in the afternoon,” said Chip Beltinck, owner of Sawyer Jewelers in downtown Fenton. “We’ll also be busy on Small Business Saturday.”
In local stores, the last Saturday before Christmas actually trumps Black Friday as the biggest holiday shopping date of the season.
Beltinck predicts that the weekend before Christmas will be a busy shopping weekend, with Saturday, Dec. 21 and Monday, Dec. 23, the busiest of the pre-Christmas shopping days.
The holiday shopping frenzy of Black Friday isn’t for everyone.
Debbie Schlenke of Tyrone Township, who has gained a reputation over the years for her shopping prowess, avoids the madhouse of shopping on that day. “I kind of avoid it because of the crowds,” she said.
She and her husband, Bob, “conquer and divide,” when it comes to Christmas shopping.
“I like to see everything in person, so I don’t like to shop online,” she said. “He likes to research every item, especially things like computers and tools, and then find the best deal online.”
Schlenke enjoys shopping in local boutiques and small businesses, where she can touch and feel what she’s looking to buy. “It has to be something I love,” she said. “It’s not necessarily the best deal when I’m buying for my family.”
She does admit that when she’s driving home from Thanksgiving festivities and sees long lines outside stores in the metro-Detroit area, she does have to talk herself down sometimes from making a stop. “Do we really need anything?” she asks herself, and then keeps driving back home to Fenton.
Which stores will be open Thanksgiving day and which ones will not?
This is a general list of retailers open for certain hours on Thanksgiving Day. For specific hours, call the location where you plan to shop, or visit its website.
• Alpine Marketplace
• Bed, Bath & Beyond
• Best Buy
• Dollar General
• Game Stop
• Holly Foods
• Old Navy
• Rite Aid
• Ulta Beauty
• VG’s Grocery
• Barnes & Noble
• Pier 1 Imports
• Sam’s Club
• Sears Hometown Store of Fenton
• The Home Depot