Shops prepare for Black Friday

Brianne Carlon

The busiest shopping day of the year doesn’t exactly yield the most sales

After filling their tummies with lots of good food on Thanksgiving, many will rise early the next morning to face the massive crowds gathered together for one reason – Black Friday.

Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, is considered to be the kick-off of the Christmas shopping season and is the biggest shopping day of the year.

“I usually go to Tower City mall the day after Thanksgiving with my family,” said Suzanne Smith, junior human development and family studies major. “I have about eight people to buy gifts for.”

Stores have created intense plans of attack for Black Friday. Best Buy in Cuyahoga Falls expects 1,500 people in the store at any given moment.

“We had a meeting at 6 a.m. Saturday to prepare for Black Friday,” said Gregg Hiller, home essentials customer specialist at Best Buy at Chapel Hill. “Each department had a dry run for that morning.”

Best Buy assumes that the morning crowd, which is often lined up around the corner by 5 a.m., will be in a rush, Hiller said.

“The customers will just be grabbing and going so employees will just be pointing them in the direction of what they want,” he said. “The best sales people are scheduled in the afternoon to try to package accessories with purchases since it will be a more relaxed atmosphere.”

Aeropostale in Fairlawn’s Summit Mall also has prepared for Black Friday.

“We had ‘The Night of Giving’ Sunday night for charity,” said Justine Zelovic, head sales associate. “It cost $10 to get in, which was given to charity, and we offered 20 percent off merchandise.

“This helped us practice managing crowds since we are not usually this busy until Black Friday, and it comes as a shock to new employees,” she said.

The busiest time for Aeropostale on Black Friday is 7 a.m. to noon, Zelovic said.

“We are offering 50 percent off all merchandise, and you get a free teddy bear with purchases over $100 while supplies last,” she said.

For a list of Black Friday deals at major stores, visit

The day was originally called “Black Friday” in the retail industry because it was the day retailers see their balance sheets move out of the red and into the black, according to, an urban legends reference page.

However, according to the same site, while Black Friday is the busiest day in terms of traffic, it is not the best in sales.

“Sales figures spike on the day after Thanksgiving, drop sharply, then steadily increase throughout December,” the site says. “The result is that Black Friday generally ends up ranking as the fifth biggest sales day of the year at most, behind the four days comprising the two weekends before Christmas.”

Smith said she usually starts shopping around 11 a.m. to beat the rush.

If you are not an early bird but still want to catch the morning deals, visit to set up a wake-up call. You can choose to be woken up by the voices of Kermit the Frog, cover girl Carolyn Murphy, a cheerleader, Hoss the biker or a mariachi band.

Contact features reporter Brianne Carlon at [email protected].


For early birds, here is a list of store hours for Friday, Nov. 25:

  • Wal-Mart 5 a.m.
  • Circuit City 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Best Buy 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Kohls 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Aeropostale 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Target 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Express 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

For a list of Black Friday deals, visit