First dinner, then shopping

Some retailers start ‘Black Friday’ sales Thursday night

At the stroke of midnight, or in some cases Thursday night, St. Croix Valley retailers opened their doors to streams of shoppers embarking on the annual Thanksgiving holiday weekend tradition known as “Black Friday.”

There is a lot of behind-the-scenes preparation that goes into making Black Friday a success. Some stores begin planning for the weekend in early fall.

“We’re prepared and a lot goes into planning it,” Target Stillwater Store Manager Sara O’Tool said. “There’s lots of planning that starts in October and we work hard to make sure that every person knows what jobs they’ll need to execute on Black Friday.”

“We’re very prepared for black Friday,” Stillwater Menard’s Store Manager Matt Davids said. “It’s that time of year when everyone’s excited to get everything ready. We’re making sure all the product comes in and make sure we can get it on the shelves when the time comes. We’re getting all the product ready and looking good so we can get the store into tip-top shape for the big push on Friday.”

O’Tool and Davids said what people can expect at their stores are the typical specials and gifts for the holidays. Davids said you can find gifts for everyone and not the typical Menard’s things people think they’ll find there.  Staggered doorbusters throughout the day and an enthusiastic atmosphere is what O’Tool said you’ll find at Target.

“People who do participate in Black Friday here are fun and enthusiastic. It’s great to see everyone get what’s on their Christmas list,” O’Tool said. “Hopefully the family and friends that we see year after year do this as a tradition will come earlier too. We love to see these folks and I hope with these different hours (9 p.m. Thanksgiving Night through 11 p.m. on Friday) we’ll continue to add new people and people that have never participated in Black Friday before.”

Both Davids and O’Tool believe that turnout will be equal to if not better than last year and they hope that their customers will be safe and have fun as the holiday shopping season kicks off.