MERCER COUNTY —
But then again – the shopping has already begun.
More retailers than ever opened their doors on Thanksgiving day this year as a way to entice shoppers to buy, buy, buy. What’s more, a number of retailers had flashy sales last week as the start of holiday season sales.
Just what’s going on here?
For generations Black Friday, so named because it put many retailers in the black for annual profits, was long considered the official kickoff to holiday shopping. The day after Thanksgiving was considered a good choice because it allowed shoppers, and store employees, a day of rest on Thanksgiving day before the onslaught began.
Turns out the shoppers were restless.
Initially retailers opened an hour or two early on Black Friday, typically around 8 a.m. to generate excitement about sales. Then about 15 years ago the clock got pushed back earlier and earlier with larger department stores opening their doors at 6 a.m., then it became 4 a.m. and in some cases even earlier.
More than a decade ago Kmart was among the first retailers to open their door on Thanksgiving day to allow consumers first crack at sales items.
Then shopping centers such as Grove City Premium Outlets pushed it even further when in 2006 stores at the Springfield Township mall opened at the strike of midnight, the last official second of Thanksgiving day. Promoted as a “midnight madness’’ sale the event lived up to its billing as traffic backed up for 10 miles on Interstate 79 and seven miles on I-80.
With such an enormous success there was no turning back.
Target and Toys R Us began pushing their opening time into late Thanksgiving night.
This year for the first time Macy’s, J.C.Penney and Staples are opening their doors Thanksgiving day along with Kohl’s. The Gap, which operates Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic, opened half its stores Thanksgiving morning.
Social media sites such as Facebook are filled with people pleading with others not to shop on Thanksgiving and to stay home with their loved ones. But, at least in the past, people have voted with their pocketbooks and have gone out in legions to retailers opening at almost any hour over the next several days.
A few retailers, a very brave few, have steadfastly said they will not open this Thanksgiving such as Jo Ann Fabric, which has a Hermitage store.
Here’s a scorecard on what some major national retailers with local stores did on Thanksgiving Day and will be doing today. Times are based on those listed by each retailer on their individual websites.
• Sears – Opened at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving and all night until 10 p.m. tonight Friday.
• Kohl’s – Opened at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving and all night until 11:59 p.m. tonight Friday.
• Kmart – Opened at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving and all night until 11 p.m. tonight Friday.
• J.C. Penney – Opened at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving and all night until 9 p.m. tonight Friday.
• Macy’s – Opened at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving and all night until 10 p.m. tonight Friday.
• Big Lots – Opened at 7 a.m. Thanksgiving until 11 p.m. Open 6 a.m. today until 11 p.m. tonight Friday.
• Walmart – Stores in Hermitage, Hempfield Township and Grove City are open 24 hours.
• Staples – Opened 8 p.m. Thanksgiving and closing at midnight. Open at 6 a.m. today and closing 9 p.m. tonight Friday.
• Grove City Premium Outlets – The center reports 81 stores were to open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving with the remaining 49 stores to have staggered openings throughout the night and remain open all night. The outlet center will close at 10 p.m. tonight Friday
Black Friday creeps into Thursday as stores seek edge
MERCER COUNTY —
But then again – the shopping has already begun.
- Local News
Couple, another man charged in thefts
Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.
Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing
Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.
Buhl Day honorees
The Buhl Day committee has chosen for this year’s celebration five honored guests whose volunteer work they feel best showcases the legacy of philanthropic work left behind by Frank and Julia Buhl a century ago.
GC pair not hurt in accident injuring 2
Two drivers were taken to a hospital after an accident at the intersection of state routes 965 and 173 in Worth Township, police said.
Sharon’s WaterFire wasn’t lacking either of its elements on Saturday. There was steady, day-long rain but the day concluded with the Shenango River ablaze.
‘Starved’ boy released from hospital
A 7-year-old boy allegedly starved and beaten by his mother is out of the hospital and ordered out of his Greenville home by Mercer County Common Pleas President Judge Thomas R. Dobson.
A group of more 50 people walked between the raindrops Saturday during an historical tour of downtown Sharon during the city’s WaterFire celebration.
News briefs from July 19, 2014
Michigan man charged with assaulting girl here
Sharon man charged with raping woman
Realty transfer tax hike headed for ballot
Sharon voters will be deciding through a referendum whether city council can raise the realty transfer tax. Council gave first reading Thursday to an ordinance that phrases the question that will be printed on the November ballot.
Vet: Dog lucky to be alive, should survive
Although a veterinarian said an underweight dog found Thursday with a gruesome neck wound was lucky to be alive, her prognosis for recovery is good.
Alleged hit-run driver arrested
Sharon police said Friday afternoon they had arrested a man believed to have driven a vehicle that struck an 11-year-old boy Thursday and left the scene.
Boy ‘was being starved’
A 7-year-old Greenville boy described as looking like a human skeleton had been starved and beaten by his mother for a year, authorities are saying.
Corruption case puts ex-youth leader in rehab program
The former commander of the local Civil Air Patrol squadron has been admitted into a diversionary program to resolve a criminal case, but the conditions of the program all but forbid his involvement with CAP, his attorney said.
GACT’s ‘Steel Magnolias’ opens tonight at Thiel
Beauty parlor gossip, southern drawls and big hair may sound out of place for Mercer County, but it’s very much a real scene in Thiel College’s William Robinson Theater.
Police seek hit-and-run driver who struck boy
A boy riding a Mongoose bike on Second Avenue in Sharon Thursday evening was struck straight on by a truck whose driver never hit the brakes or looked back, witnesses said.
- More Local News Headlines
- Couple, another man charged in thefts