ANDERSON — The shopping phenomenon that can turn mildmannered grandmothers into defensive ends worthy of NFL consideration just got a little bigger.
That's because Black Friday sales are starting to encroach on the traditional Thanksgiving holiday.
This year, more than 13 businesses in Anderson say they are extending their shopping hours and plan to offer special holiday sales and discounted prices on Thanksgiving Day.
According to BlackFriday.com, the day after Thanksgiving is considered one of the best shopping days of the year for retailers. Profits, which are often noted in black ink, are made by merchants on this particular day instead of a red-ink loss.
That is how the name Black Friday was coined.
But as more and more shoppers take advantage of the sale items offered in small, limited quantities, an increasing number of incidents involving violence and mayhem are being reported.
In recent years, retailers have started to extend the time between their sales to keep shoppers in the stores longer and to help reduce large crowds which had the potential to become unruly.
This decision, however, has resulted in some retailers looking for more shopping hours — even if those hours are on Thanksgiving Day.
Online petitions of outrage have been circulated to protest the new and extended shopping hours that will require employees to work odd hours or even all day on the traditional holiday. But supply and demand drive business and retailers say they have plenty of supply to create a demand.
“If everyone would quit shopping on Black Friday, they would stop the sales, but they won’t quit,” said Rick French, a store manager for the Kmart located at 2828 N. Broadway.
French said working on Thanksgiving is nothing new for Kmart employees. The store has been open for years on the holiday.
“It’s retail and they know they have to sacrifice a lot and reschedule their holidays, but we do what we can with it,” he said.
This year, however, even the seasoned Kmart workers have started to grumble over the holiday shopping hours, French said as the store prepares to operate for a continuous 17 hours after opening at 6 a.m. on Thursday.
French said the store’s special discounted items always draw large crowds on Thanksgiving, but he does not know how busy the store will be at 2 a.m.
“Our big thing here is layaway,” he said. “People understand there are limited quantities, but they can put the door busters on layaway and then hit the other stores.”
Debbie Merchant, an associate manager for Big Lots, 2140 S. Scatterfield Road, said her store has always been open on Thanksgiving and she has worked there 11 years.
“We have always been open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.,” she said. “We open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday, which is always busier.”
But some businesses refuse to open on Thanksgiving.
“We want our employees to enjoy their time with friends and family,” said Keith Clevenger, general manager of Menards, 2245 E. 67th St.
Clevenger said he doesn’t see Menards changing its holiday hours any time soon.
“I just don’t see that happening at this point,” he said. “They strongly believe in having a family atmosphere and that it is important to spend time with family during the holidays.”
He said the store will open on Black Friday at 6 a.m. for big sale items and promotions in every department, but not a day earlier.
Ashley Jones, a manager at Maurices, 2109 S. Scatterfield Road, located in the Mounds Mall, said her store will also not be open on Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving, known for its traditional feasts and football games, is an important holiday for sales associates, said Jones. And she wants them to spend the holiday with family and loved ones, but she cannot guarantee they will always have that luxury.
“I’m not sure what is going to happen in the future,” Jones said.
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Shopping hours This year, more and more stores are joining the holiday shopping frenzy with extended or earlier hours for their Thanksgiving and Black Friday special sales. The following are times Anderson stores will begin their sales: Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28: 6 a.m. - Kmart 6 a.m. - Meijer 7 a.m. - Big Lots 7 a.m. - Dollar General 8 a.m. - Walgreens 6 p.m. - Shoe Carnival 6 p.m. - Walmart 7 p.m. - Sears Hometown Sales 8 p.m. - Carson's 8 p.m. - h.h. gregg 8 p.m. - Kohl's 8 p.m. - Office Depot 8 p.m. - Target Black Friday, Nov.29: Midnight - Carson's Midnight - Game Stop Midnight - h.h. gregg Midnight - Kmart Midnight - Kohl's Midnight - Target Midnight - Walmart 4 a.m. - Bath and Body Works 4 a.m. - Finish Line 4 a.m. - MC Sports 5 a.m. - Lowes 5 a.m. - Ollies 6 a.m. - Big Lots 6 a.m. - Claire's 6 a.m. - Hibbett Sports 7 a.m. - Kay Jewelers 6 a.m. - Maurices 6 a.m. - Menards 6 a.m. - Meijer 6 a.m. - Sears Hometown Stores 6 a.m. - Shoe Carnival 6 a.m. - Tractor Supply 6 a.m. - Zales 7 a.m. - Dollar General 7 a.m. - PetSmart 7 a.m. - Walgreens 8 a.m. - Hobby Lobby 8 a.m. - Radio Shack 8 a.m. - Office Depot