State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Shopping Frenzy Expected With Black Friday Beginning on Thanksgiving

by on November 27, 2014 8:00 AM

You won't have much time to shake off that Thanksgiving dinner before the annual Black Friday shopping frenzy begins.

Black Friday will get underway on Thursday -- while you're still digesting that jumbo-sized holiday meal.

And State College retailers are betting that some jumbo-sized bargains will bring out some king-sized crowds early Thursday evening.

All of the stores at the Nittany Mall will be open by 6 p.m. Thursday -- some even earlier -- according to Polly Welch the mall's general manager. "All the stores will be open from 6 p.m. until midnight and then it's at their discretion from midnight until 5 a.m. but then they all open up again at 5 a.m. [Friday]."

Welch says the earlier opening is needed to satisfy the demand. "It's a consumer driven environment," she says. "The consumers are asking for additional shopping hours and so we're meeting that need."

JCPenney manager Monique Murphy says her store is getting a head start and will open its doors at 5 p.m. Thursday, an hour earlier than most stores. They won't close again until 10 p.m. Friday night.

In a word, Murphy boasts that JCPenney has some "great" offers. "We have lots of great deals, lots of great outerwear deals and great salon products deals, great housewares deals, family sleepwear, great fine jewelery key items, she says. "In our fine jewelry we have some diamond pieces at great prices."

They're expecting big crowds but Murphy thinks it's just a lot of fun. "This is my 11th year here and it's like the best shopping day," she says. "Everybody's happy. Everybody's ready for Christmas. They have their lists. They have their maps plotted off with where they're going and what stores they're going to hit first and what item they have to have." Deals on the JCPenney website range from 25 to 65 percent off.

At Walmart the Black Friday specials will also begin early. At 6 p.m. Thursday a 50" Class LED HDTV will go on sale for $218. Other special deals are available at 8 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday. Check out the the Walmart website for details.

Macy's will be opening at 6 p.m. Thursday offering up to 70 percent off on some merchandise.

Even auto dealerships are getting in on the Black Friday action. Sutliff Buick is taking 20% off MSRP on select vehicles.

Best Buy will open at 5 p.m. Thursday, offering a range of doorbusters, including a Samsung Galaxy S5 cell phone for $1 with a two year agreement.

Express clothing store is offering 50 percent discounts on everything in the store except gift cards.

Sears will open up at 6 p.m. Thursday and won't close the doors again until 10 p.m. Friday.

At the Bon Ton store manager Bruce Aungst says they'll have a "little bit of everything with over 600 doorbuster deals. They're opening Thursday at 6 p.m. and will stay open for 28 hours straight.

"Last year we had about 300 people waiting at the door," says Aungst, pointing out that the Black Friday deals really draw a big crowd. "If you buy $75 worth of small electronics you get a $25 gift card. If you're interested in a coat in men's or women's, anything that's purchased over $100 or more, you get a $60 off coupon," he says.

"Target will be ready to go at 6 p.m. Thursday. Target executive Leslie Price says it's huge. "We anticipate about a three to four hour rush after we open the doors," she says. "It's fun. It's a good time. Everyone's excited. Everyone's ready to go."

Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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