Shoppers still expected to pack stores on Black Friday; most major stores will be closed Thanksgiving

Charles Oliver/Daily Citizen-News

Shoppers wait to pick up their orders at Academy Sports + Outdoors on a Black Friday in this file photo.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has traditionally marked the start of the Christmas shopping season.

But this year, many major retailers began their Christmas sales, both online and in stores, on Sunday.

So will people still come out to shop on Black Friday?

"I think so," said Dalton resident Gina Cross. "I've got some things that I know I'm going to buy, presents I'm going to give to someone, and I've already been shopping online for those. But it's nice to go into the stores and see what they have and maybe find something that looks good that I hadn't been thinking about."

The National Retail Federation reported in a press release last week that 61% of Americans surveyed had already begun their holiday shopping, and 28% said they had already completed their holiday shopping.

But the organization also reported that 108 million Americans are projected to shop on Black Friday, 58.1 million on Small Business Saturday and 31.2 million on Sunday. Small Business Saturday is a day when shoppers are encouraged to support locally-owned businesses. It was launched by credit card company American Express in 2010 when the Great Recession had imperiled many small businesses as a way to help them survive.

"I don't think (Black Friday) will be as hectic this year," said Dalton resident Jacob Carlson. "I remember people used to line up at 4 a.m. for the stores to open. I just don't see a lot of that happening this year. I don't know of anyone who is planning to do that. But I do know people who are planning to shop on Black Friday, and I would bet the stores will still be pretty full, with people looking for bargains."

Dalton resident Nell Marshall said she thinks many people will go shopping on Black Friday just to get out of the house.

The National Retail Federation reported that among those who said they plan to shop in stores on Black Friday, 58% said their top reason is deals that are “too good to pass up.” Tradition came in second at 28%.

For several years, many major retailers kicked off their in-store Christmas sales on Thanksgiving Day. But last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers generally remained closed on Thanksgiving. And most major retailers will be closed on Thanksgiving this year.

"That's good," said Cross. "I think that except for police and (hospital workers) and people like that, people shouldn't have to work on Thanksgiving. They should be with their families."

Among some of the major retailers in Dalton:

• Academy Sports + Outdoors, 865 Shugart Road, will be closed on Thanksgiving. It will be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Black Friday. The company's website said "sale items include everything from sports gear and fitness equipment to winter clothing and sports fan apparel."

• Kohl's, 835 Shugart Road, will be closed on Thanksgiving. It will be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Black Friday. It began its Christmas sales online and in-store on Monday. The company's website said there will be sales in every section of the store.

• Walmart, 815 Shugart Road and 2545 E. Walnut Ave., will be closed on Thanksgiving. It will be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Black Friday. It began its Christmas sales online and in-store on Monday. The company's website said there will be sales in every section of the store.

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