How early is too early for Black Friday deals?

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by Kim Fields

NWCN.com

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 12:51 AM

BOISE -- The traditional start of the Christmas shopping season is usually Black Friday.  But this year, some stores are opening even earlier.

Stores like Walmart, Toys R Us, Kmart, Sears and Target are beginning their Black Friday markdowns on Thanksgiving night, as early as 8 p.m.  But don't look for too many local stores to follow suit.
 
Penny Lane Kids, a toy store in Boise, is opening their doors on Black Friday at normal time, 10 a.m.

"I know everybody's looking out for a dollar right now.  I totally understand that, but it's to the point where the holiday is taken out of it.  It's all about money instead of giving and being happy," said Josephine Doughtery, store clerk at Penny Lane Kids.

Similar sentiments are being shared by nearly 200,000 people who are logging on to Change.org to "Save Thanksgiving."  The online petition, started by a Target employee in California, asks the retailer to reconsider the Thanksgiving opening.
 
Peggy McReynolds, co-owner of Classy Casuals in Boise, is opening her store at normal time on Black Friday, 10 a.m.

"We like to sleep in.  And those people that want to get up at 2 a.m. and go to the big box stores, more power to them, but we're sleeping in," said McReynolds.
    
In her five years of business, McReynolds said she's learned her store can't compete with the big box retailers.  Instead of expanding shopping hours, she's offering her customers something unique on Black Friday.

"We have what's called "chocolate day" and we serve our customers chocolate.  Everything from chocolate milk, chocolate candy, chocolate cookies, chocolate wine, chocolate anything," said McReynolds.

So while the masses are duking it out online over how early is too early for Black Friday deals, at least a couple of local stores are sticking with what's worked for them -- good, old-fashioned customer service, no matter what time or day they open for business.

"We know our customers.  That's one thing. We know them by name.  We know their kids. And they know us," said Doughtery.

Target released this statement regarding the online petition:  "Target’s opening time was carefully evaluated with our guests, team and the business in mind. Across the country, team member preferences were considered in creating our store staffing schedules. Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest of the year, and we appreciate our Target team’s flexibility on this weekend and throughout the holiday season."

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