Published Thursday, November 22, 2012
By JOHN A. WINTERS
(Editor's note: On this Thanksgiving day in the face of new shopping hours, The Newnan Times-Herald Staff Writer John Winters shakes out the points of view on the new Brown Thanksgiving/ Black Friday happenings.)
If 40 is the new 20, then Thanksgiving is the new Black Friday.
Life used to be simple. You stuffed yourself silly Thanksgiving Day and then those so inclined woke up early the next morning to hit all the big sales. And by early I mean like 7 a.m. to be in line for the 8 a.m. Friday opening.
And then some corporate bigwig decided to go all Rambo and stuff. Tried that whole "think outside the box" angle. Which of course led to everyone pushing the envelope with 4 a.m. openings on the day after Thanksgiving.
But now? Black Friday starts tonight — as in Thanksgiving night — for some stores. And even more are having Internet-only sales, previews, sneak peaks and pre-order/ pickup next day all day today. And if you are on any big store mailing list, well the extra 20 percent off here and double points coupon there is probably pushing your email total to, well, its limit.
Thanksgiving, a day of, well, giving thanks and being with friends and family, is becoming a big shopping day.
Thanksgiving is the new Black Friday.
Walmart is opening at 8 p.m. this Thanksgiving evening, which is the big major retailer news. Target is an hour later tonight at 9 p.m. Michaels is open at 4 p.m. Publix is closed, Kroger is open, but shorter hours.
Best Buy opens at midnight. But Black Friday sales start online today. Dick's Sporting Goods and Belk are following the more traditional midnight openings. The list goes on and on.
It's enough to make your head spin. So much so that there are even Internet sites that are constantly updating big store openings. Here's one: http://couponing.about.com/od/blackfridayshopping/a/storehours.htm .
Your best bet is to check out today's Holiday Shopping Gift Guide in The Newnan Times-Herald. You can also check out specific business websites to get not only store hours, but special Thanksgiving or Black Friday deals.
And if the big-box stores aren't your thing, MainStreet Newnan will be hosting "Plaid Friday" with downtown merchants. Stores will open at normal times, but many plan to stay open later. And yes, if you wear plaid, you get a little souvenir.
Oh, and Santa will be visiting the downtown square on Friday. ETA is 6 p.m.
In a completely unscientific poll, meaning I basically just asked some friends who were over for dinner one night what their Brown Thursday/ Black Friday plans were, there are two points of view. There is no middle ground. And being unscientific, the margin of error is about 43.57 percent plus or minus.
One side thinks the whole Brown Thanksgiving/ Black Friday hours is the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread. They have printed their coupons. They have mapped out which store to hit at what time like a general preparing for battle. They have all the weather data downloaded and are willing to camp out in freezing temperatures to make sure they win the prize of being first in line to buy whatever the "it" thing is this year. It is all about the hunt; finding the super secret double coupon and buying it for half of half. All Christmas shopping done, money saved left and right. Time to relax while all the procrastinators spend the next month trying to find something left over.
The second group thought the aforementioned people were, basically, insane. They plan to sleep in as late as possible and go nowhere near any place with a cash register. To this group, the whole "shopping experience" reminds them of the old Capital One ad campaign when the horde of Vikings tramples through the stores asking "what's in your wallet?" They don't "do" crowds and if they are going to walk three miles, it will be on a beautiful mountain trail and not a parking lot.
If you are planning on being part of the horde, sorry, I meant enthusiastic shoppers, please remember to use what we once called "common sense." There's an accompanying story today with tips from the Newnan Police Department about how to be safe and ensure you don't end up shopping for some thief.
Two other points. In the excitement of the hunt, please try, as I know you will, to be courteous, take your time and don't run with scissors.
Finally, if you are a shopaholic, this might be a good day to just kick back and rest. The sensory overload might make your head — and wallet — explode.