Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

November 12, 2013

Black Thursday puts the 'early' in 'Early Bird.'

The ambitious march of 'Black Thursday' precedes Christmas shopping chaos

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Here we are again, right back on the cusp of "Black Thursday" – that slap-happy, seven-hour, Thanksgiving Day sneak peek into the upcoming Christmas holiday shopping season.

Several major retail stores across the country are opening their doors as early as 6 p.m. Thursday to coincide with the conclusion of many Thanksgiving dinners.

As a result, a great many quality goods will be available at low prices both locally and nationally, in an attempt to refocus attention spans from restful football games to adrenaline-charged shopping extravaganzas.

An assistant manager at the Jacksonville Walmart said Monday that the store had not yet received word from its corporate headquarters as to how holiday hours will or will not be worked.

But National retailer Stage Stores Inc. had already announced announced that their 856 stores – of which Jacksonville's Bealls is one – will be very open Thanksgiving night, November 28, from 6 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Officials with Stage Stores describe the evening as their "biggest ever Thanksgiving event."

After Black Thursday, Bealls will reopen on Black Friday, November 29, at 6 a.m. for "great offers on holiday shopping," a news release shows.

This sale will offer certain items both on and offline, reports show.

“We are absolutely thrilled to open our stores earlier this year. We know our customers are eager to get started on their holiday shopping and find the best deals available,” Michael Glazer, President and CEO of Stage Stores Inc. said in a news release.

The storewide Thanksgiving Weekend sale offers over three hundred doorbuster items that will be available at significant discounts. Customers can shop for door busters online starting at midnight on Thanksgiving until 1 p.m. on Black Friday. Here is a preview of some of the unbelievable doorbuster deals being offered:

1. $19.99 Women’s Rampage Boots

2. $4.99 Fisher Price, Hasbro and Mattel kids toys

3. $9.99 small kitchen appliances

4. $7.99 Polaroid headphones

5. $24.99 Columbia fleece jackets

6. 75% off all fine jewelry

According to a news release, there are two mega doorbuster deals available at all of store locations.

On Thursday the retailer is offering a limited quantity of 7” Android tablets for $49.99 and on Friday the offer is a 14.0-Megapixel digital camera for $19.99.

At all locations on Thursday and Friday, the first 50 customers will get a scratch-off card with one lucky customer receiving a $100 gift card and one receiving a $50 gift card.

The remaining customers get a coupon for $10 off $10 purchase.

How did Black Friday transform into Black Thursday?

Blame the Almighty Dollar and backward-shifting holiday shopping momentum, experts say. Both conspired in recent years to continually turn the clock back on early Christmas shopping.

Participating retailers are expected to continue to entice and dazzle customers with gift card giveaways and special sales on Black Thursday and Black Friday.

In other words, the days of "everyone take a break, loosen their belts and watch TV after Thanksgiving dinner" are pretty much over, if shopping trends are any indication, experts say.